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No decision in Texas same-sex marriage case
QSanAntonio, February 11, 2014

Saying that he had listened to both sides of the argument, San Antonio Federal District Judge Orlando Garcia told a crowded courtroom today that he will soon make a decision in the case of two couples who are seeking a preliminary injunction to bar Texas from enforcing its same sex marriage ban.

Mark Phariss and his partner Vic Holmes of Plano, along with Cleopatra DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman from Austin, filed their original federal lawsuit on October 28 in San Antonio challenging the state's marriage ban.

The defendants named in the case are Governor Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbot, Bexar County Clerk Gerard Rickhoff and Commissioner of State Health Services David Lakey.

The injunction, dated November 22 and submitted by the the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, states:

"Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court issue an order preliminarily enjoining Defendants from enforcing any constitutional or statutory provisions, including article I, section 32 of the Texas Constitution and Texas Family Code §§ 2.001 and 6.204, that prevent Plaintiffs Phariss and Holmes from marrying on the basis that they are of the same sex, or prevents the State from recognizing Plaintiffs’ De Leon and Dimetman’s marriage on the basis that they are of the same sex. Plaintiffs further request that the Court enter a preliminary injunction commanding Defendant Rickhoff to issue a marriage license to Plaintiffs Phariss and Holmes."

Attorneys for the two couples speak to the press after the hearing.

At the hearing held today, attorneys for the plaintiffs said that there are "hundreds of thousands" of people affected by the state ban.

Attorney Neel Lane, who represents the two couples, said that by not having their unions recognized by the state, same sex couples lose such rights as community property, intestate survivorship, parental rights, health care decisions, and spousal and child support after divorce.

“We're not seeking to rewrite any Texas law. We're seeking to enforce the Constitution that protects everyone," said Lane.

To get the preliminary injunction the two couples must convince the judge that they have a good chance of winning their case when it is litigated and that by keeping the ban in place their relationships are being harmed.

Assistant Texas Solicitor General Michael Murphy urged the judge to deny the injunction saying, "The right to marry has never included the right to same-sex marriage. Plaintiffs' constitutional claims are not likely to succeed on the merits, as they are foreclosed by direct, binding Supreme Court precedent and by application of equal-protection and due-process standards."

“As we all know, no matter how I decide this, this matter is going to be appealed in time,” Judge Garcia said. He offered no time frame as to when his decision would be made public.

Texas couples file injunction against state's same-sex marriage ban
QSanAntonio.com, November 23, 2013
Two Texas couples, one gay the other lesbian, who last month filed a suit challenging the state's ban on same sex marriage, filed an injunction yesterday asking the Federal Court for the Western District of Texas to stop the state from enforcing it's same-sex marriage ban while their case moves forward.

Couples await San Antonio judge’s decision in same-sex marriage lawsuit
San Antonio Current, February 12, 2014
The start of a battle to win marriage equality in Texas began this morning in San Antonio federal court waged by two gay couples with strong ties to San Antonio.

Seeking freedom for everyone
By Julian Castro and Evan Wolfson, MySA.com, February 11, 2014
Two Texas couples rightly argue that all Texans should have the freedom to marry the person they love.

S.A. federal judge to hear couple's challenge to Texas gay marriage ban
KENS5.com, February 13, 2012
The night before the hearing, KENS 5's Karen Grace sat down with a San Antonio same-sex couple who are suing the state to strike down the gay marriage ban.

In court, Texas says it bans gay marriage to "promote responsible procreation"
Dallas Observer, February 13, 2013
And why does Texas have such a compelling interest in defining marriage as between a man and a woman? Because children. "The purpose of Texas marriage law is not to discriminate against same-sex couples but to promote responsible procreation," said Assistant Texas Solicitor General Mike Murphy.

Federal judge hears request to block Texas ban on same-sex marriage
Dallas Morning News, February 13, 2014
Two same-sex couples, including one from Plano, asked a federal judge Wednesday to stay Texas’ constitutional ban on gay marriage so one can wed and the other can have their out-of-state marriage recognized.

Federal judge issues no decision in hearing on Texas marriage ban
By Sam Sanchez, Dallas Voice, February 13, 2014
Saying he had listened to both sides of the argument, San Antonio Federal District Judge Orlando Garcia told a crowded courtroom on Wednesday he will soon make a decision in the case of two couples who are seeking a preliminary injunction to bar Texas from enforcing its same-sex marriage ban.

Judge will rule later on Texas same-sex marriage ban
Express-News.com, February 12, 2014
Despite last summer's Supreme Court rulings that affirmed gay marriage in California and toppled key aspects of the Defense of Marriage Act, states still have the right to define marriage, lawyers for Texas argued Wednesday during a legal showdown in a packed San Antonio courtroom.

Former S.A. activist is plaintiff in suit against state's equal marriage ban
QSanAntonio, October 31, 2013
San Antonio LGBT leaders were pleasantly encouraged when they heard that two Texas couples, one gay the other lesbian, filed a suit challenging the state's ban on same sex marriage. However, many were not surprised that Mark Phariss was one of the plaintiffs.

Lesbian couple seeks equal treatment with suit against Texas marriage ban
QSanAntonio, November 1, 2013
If you ask Cleopatra DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman why they decided to file a federal suit challenging Texas' equal marriage ban, the answer for them is simple: "It's important for our family to be treated equally under the law."