Court case could overturn ban on gay marriage in Texas

Federal judge to hear arguments from two same-sex couples challenging ‘unconstitutional' ban


SAN ANTONIO – A federal judge in San Antonio will hear arguments Wednesday morning in a case that could lead to the state's ban on gay marriage being overturned.

Two same sex couples will ask the judge to declare the ban unconstitutional while lawyers for the state will defend the ban as a state's rights issue.

On the eve of a what could be an historic legal victory for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans, a small group of same-sex marriage supporters hit the streets to march for equality.

"It's the civil rights cause of today and it's why we still see many people walking up who are in support of this cause," said marcher Robert Vargas III. "It's time that our city leaders, that our government recognize that we're not going anywhere."

Texas lawmakers passed a ban on same-sex marriage in 2003.

Then in 2005, 70 percent of voters approved an amendment to the state constitution which defined marriage as a union that consists only between one man and one woman.

Lawyers for the state will argue Texas has a right to create its own laws on marriage, while lawyers for the couples will argue it violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

"We see across the country higher courts striking down same-sex marriage bans so I think it's highly likely that tomorrow the same thing will happen for Texas," said Jennifer Falcon, an organizer for Get Equal Texas.

With momentum on their side the marchers believe they will someday have the same rights that are granted to couples in traditional marriages and this court case could be the first big step.

"We're not asking for special rights like my sign says," said marcher Carlos Soto. "We're just asking to be equal."

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.

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