A judge in Texas federal court has ruled that our state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia wrote in his opinion that 14th Amendment clauses concerning equal protection and due process were violated by the same-sex marriage ban.
However, though the ban has been struck down, the ruling will not be immediately enforced. There is still another challenge pending in federal court in Austin concerning same-sex marriage as well. Also, Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott has released a statement that he will appeal this ruling.
The case at the center of the federal court ruling was just one of many suits being heard in our state concerning this same issue. This particular case involved a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts in 2009. They claimed hardship in that they were treated in a legally different manner than other married couples involving a man and woman. For example, though they have one child together only one of the parent’s names can be included on the birth certificate.
Family law attorneys deal with a large variety of matters including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, property division, modifications of divorce decrees, etc. As the possible lifting of the same-sex marriage ban indicates, family law is continually evolving and it takes experienced attorneys in this area to keep up with all of the changes. We will have to wait and see what rulings will come out of the courts next, but these matters are now bringing into question differing interpretations of both the state and the federal constitution.
Source: The Texas Tribune, “Judge Rules Texas’ Gay Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional,” Edgar Walters, Feb. 26, 2014