SAN ANTONIO, TX, February 26, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A federal judge ruled today that a Texas law and subsequent constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of a man and woman violates the U.S. Constitution, which upholds “the moral and sexual choices of homosexuals.”
U.S. District Judge for Western Texas Orlando Luis Garcia said the laws had no “rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose” but simply reflected the bigotry of the citizens of Texas.
“[U.S.] Supreme Court precedent prohibits states from passing legislation born out of animosity against homosexuals, has extended constitutional protection to the moral and sexual choices of homosexuals, and prohibits the federal government from treating state-sanctioned opposite-sex marriages and same-sex marriages differently,” he wrote in his decision invalidating the amendment, as well as a 2003 law.
Some 76 percent of Texas voters supported Proposition 2 in 2005, despite being outspent by more than a quarter of a million dollars.
"The state of Texas is the latest victim of a judicial free-for-all in making a lawless mockery of the ideals that our Founding Fathers stood for,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "A court-imposed redefinition of marriage strips away the fundamental right to self-governance. This is not just an attack on marriage, but an attack on the rule of law.”
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said, “This is a historic day for the LGBT community and the state of Texas.”
But marriage licenses will not be distributed at once. Orlando Garcia, who was named to the federal court by President Bill Clinton in 1994, stayed his ruling until the case, DeLeon v. Perry, can be appealed.
Texas Attorney General Gregory Abbott, who faces a primary election for the Republican nomination for governor shortly, has promised a vigorous legal challenge.
The decision is one of many state marriage rulings that are certain to make their way before the U.S. Supreme Court, a fact both Garcia and his critics acknowledged.
“Hopefully, the Court will refrain from repeating the disaster of Roe v. Wade by imposing a radical minority view on the nation. Instead, we would expect the Supreme Court to restore order by returning to the people and their elected representatives the right to decide the future of marriage,” Perkins said.
National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown said Garcia's ruling joins a number of recent “egregious decisions by unelected judges throwing out the votes of millions of Americans." These decisions "have been shamefully encouraged, aided, and abetted by the lawless actions of President Obama and his administration, especially the Attorney General,” he said.
Earlier this week, Attorney General Eric Holder told state attorneys general they were under no compulsion to defend marriage amendments that they believed to be unconstitutional. To date, the top legal officials in six states – all Democrats – have followed the Obama administration's lead.
Numerous Republican attorneys general have affirmed that they will defend marriage in court.
A coalition of black pastors called for Holder's resignation as a result of his comments.
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Brown said that constitutional principle was threatened by marriage redefinition proponents' “shameful lack of integrity and an utter rebellion against the rule of law and the sovereign rights of the American people.”
Judge Garcia is no stranger to controversy. In 2012 he came under fire for not recusing himself in a state redistricting plan that would have benefited the state's beleaguered Democratic Party. His sister-in-law is Democratic State Senator Leticia Van De Putte.