Federal Judge Overturns Texas Gay Marriage Ban - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

SAN ANTONIO

Federal Judge Overturns Texas Gay Marriage Ban

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SAN ANTONIO -

A federal judge in San Antonio has struck down Texas' ban on same-sex marriage.

His ruling states that laws restricting marriage between same-sex couples violates the U.S. Constitution.

Judge Orlando Garcia said that the amendment to Texas' constitution denying gay couples the right to marry is illegitimate and unjust, and it's time to stop denying same-sex couples the right to marry. His decision comes after several other states including Utah, Oklahoma and Kentucky struck down their own bans on gay marriage in recent weeks.

"I'm excited about it," Copperas Cove resident Katherine Brown said. "I think everybody should have their own legal rights. I come from a Christian background. It's against our religion, but, being the parent of a gay son, I'm very proud of this decision being made."

Garcia's ruling won't immediately take effect with him issuing a stay on his decision pending a likely appeal by the state's lawyers with the United States Fifth Circuit Court.

While many are praising the decision, those like Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott are voicing their opposition to the ruling saying, "The Texas Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman."

Back in November 2005, Texas voters originally approved an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage with 76 percent of the overall vote. Today's ruling comes eight months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of a federal Defense of Marriage Act that disqualified legal rights for married same-sex couples.

"Basically, I think everybody has the right whether they're gay or straight to live whatever lifestyle they choose, and I think it's a great decision," Brown said. "I think everybody should have the freedom to do whatever they choose to do."

Currently, only 17 states across the U.S. allow same-sex marriage. Texas state officials are now expected to take their case to a federal appeals court in New Orleans.

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