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Marriage equality 2014: Texas judge rules gay marriage ban unconstitutional

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Marriage equality scored a victory in Texas on Wednesday. As the Associate Press reports on Feb. 26, a federal judge has ruled the state's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.

According to the report, Judge Orlando Garcia ruled in favor of two gay couples who challenged the state constitutional amendment but is giving the state time to appeal to the 5th circuit Court of Appeals. In his ruling, Garcia said the couples were likely to win their case stating that the state didn't not allow the couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

"Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," Garcia wrote. "These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex."

Garcia's decision is similar to rulings in the states of Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia. All three states are in the appeals process but are setting a trend to victories that are occurring across the country inspired by the Supreme Court's historic decision back in June which struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, ruling the law as unconstitutional.

One couple in the case filed a federal civil rights lawsuit stating that the ban unconstitutionally denied them the fundamental right to marry because of their sexual orientation while the other couple filed their lawsuit on the grounds that Texas official were violating their rights by not recognizing their marriage that was conducted in a state where gay marriage is legal.

Attorneys for the state of Texas stood on the defense that because the ban was voted in by the voters, officials have the right to defend traditional marriage on the state level.

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