Equality Texas, the state's largest gay
advocate, has blasted a Texas ruling that declares the state's gay
marriage ban constitutional.
The ruling issued Tuesday by the Fifth
Texas Court of Appeals overturns a lower court's decision that
allowed a gay couple to divorce and found the state's ban on gay
marriage in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
District Judge Tena Callahan's ruling
allowed two Dallas men, known only as J.B. and H.B., married in
Massachusetts to divorce. But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, a
Republican, intervened in the case, arguing that the marriage should
be “voided,” which essentially nullifies the marriage as invalid.
“The court's view of same-sex
relationships is uninformed, outdated and homophobic – predicating
its decision upon the ability to have children naturally – thereby
ignoring the thousands of Texas households raising kids with same-sex
parents or even single parent households,” the group said in a
reported by gay weekly The Dallas Voice.
Plaintiffs' lawyers have not announced
whether they'll appeal, but, according to Texas Equality, the
all-Republican 3-judge panel's ruling sets a high barrier to
The court “has taken the most
extreme, the most conservative view possible on each issue before it.
It's not as if they wanted to just overturn the trial court's
decision, they wanted to smash it into the ground and discourage
anyone from ever filing a pro-LGBT suit ever again.”
“The gay divorce ruling reads like an
anti-thesis to U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's decision last
month,” Voice reporter John Wright wrote, referring to
Walker's ruling that struck down California's gay marriage ban,
Proposition 8, as unconstitutional.
The men married in Massachusetts –
the first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage in 2004 – in
September 2006. J.B. said the couple had been together 11 years and
that the split was painful but amicable. He filed for divorce in
January 2009, citing “discord of conflict of personalities.”