The state of Texas is appealing a ruling from a federal judge that could impose “gay marriage” in the state, as supporters of Texas’ marriage amendment argue that the ruling violates the rights of the state and its citizens. “We've seen a rash of these rulings in recent weeks, all making the same errors about binding Supreme Court precedents relevant to marriage and all issued by activist judges bound and determined to redefine marriage in defiance of thousands of years of human experience,” Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said Feb. 26. The statute does not prohibit private ceremonies, but recognizes marriage as a union of a man and a woman and bars the state or its political localities from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage. Judge Orlando Garcia, a Clinton appointee based in San Antonio, claimed in his Feb. 26 ruling that the law has “no legitimate government purpose” and amounts to “state-imposed inequality.” “Procreation is not and has never been a qualification for marriage” and “tradition, alone, cannot form a rational basis for a law,” he contended. Garcia’s ruling is the latest in a string of court decisions against the definition of marriage as existing between a man and a woman, following the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2013 that the federal government would recognize acknowledge whatever unions are recognized as marriages in each individual state. The Texas decision will not currently take effect, as Garcia granted a stay of his ruling while the state appeals the decision. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Feb. 26 that the case will go to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He added that the U.S. Supreme Court “has ruled over and over again that states have the authority to define and regulate marriage.” “The Texas Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman. If the Fifth Circuit honors those precedents, then today's decision should be overturned and the Texas Constitution will be upheld,” he said. Governor Rick Perry also reacted to the decision, saying that the “10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions,” and arguing that Judge Garcia’s decision “is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn’t be achieved at the ballot box.” “It is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens,” the governor added in his Feb. 26 statement. Brown argued that the wave of rulings against marriage show “a shameful lack of integrity and an utter rebellion against the rule of law and the sovereign rights of the American people.” He urged Congress to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman in order to return power “to the American people.” “These egregious decisions by unelected judges throwing out the votes of millions of Americans have been shamefully encouraged, aided, and abetted by the lawless actions of President Obama and his administration,” he charged. “The American people, and our leaders in Congress, need to step up and restore the powers of government to their proper balance.”
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