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Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down In Texas

Texas has become the latest state to rule that a same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. Judge Orlando Garcia issued the ruling in response to a challenge by two gay couples of the state’s constitutional amendment. Although he struck down Texas’ ban on gay marriage, Garcia left it in place this afternoon ending a ruling by an appeals court later this year.

“Today’s Court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the United States Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” wrote Garcia. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution.”

While gay rights activists have managed to achieve several milestones in overturning same-sex marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah, among other states, some states are going in the opposite direction. Arizona is one signature away from signing into law a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay people on the grounds of “sincerely held” religious beliefs. The bill was vetoed last year by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and many are expecting she will repeat the trend this year due to the likely economic repercussions of such a law.

Meanwhile, actor and gay rights activist George Takei publicly slammed the bill yesterday during an appearance on MSNBC. “It breaks our heart that both houses of the Arizona legislature passed this. It is not a religious freedom bill at all,” said Takei. “Their religious freedom is being well protected by gays and lesbians in the military…the so-called religious freedom is just a cloak for prejudice and they’re trying to write their prejudice into civil law, which they can’t do…how do these people get elected?”

(Photo: Reuters)

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