The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in
New Orleans on Monday said that it would hear appeals in cases
challenging gay marriage bans in Texas and Louisiana shortly after
the New Year.
The appeals court posted a tentative
hearing date for the week of January 5.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia
struck down Texas' ban in February, while U.S. District Judge Martin
Feldman upheld Louisiana's ban in August.
Feldman's ruling broke a string of
victories in federal courts for marriage equality supporters since
the Supreme Court last year struck down a key provision of the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Plaintiffs in the Texas case are a
lesbian couple who want the state to recognize their Massachusetts
marriage and a male gay couple who wish to marry in Texas.
Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss of San
Antonio (pictured) have been together for 17 years. The couple was
denied a marriage license in November.
Phariss said in a statement that he and
Holmes were disappointed at the slow pace of the appeal.
“Vic and I are extremely disappointed
in the 5th Circuit's scheduling order,” Phariss said in
a statement. “It unnecessarily delays the time when Vic and I and
the hundreds of thousands of other gay and lesbian couples in Texas
can marry. But love will ultimately prevail and we look forward to