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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 17 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 03
Texas federal judge rejects anti-Gay brief
Section One
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Texas federal judge rejects anti-Gay brief

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A federal district judge in Texas has rejected an amicus brief filed by the anti-Gay fundamentalist group Texas Values in the marriage equality lawsuit against the state.

Texas Values 'speaks up for faith, family, and freedom through public policy, grassroots mobilization, and by standing for the truth in media,' the group's website says. Its activities center on opposing LGBT rights legislation.

The Texas Values amicus brief cites the long-discredited work of Mark Regnerus to claim that children in same-sex households face significant social and developmental disadvantages compared to those in opposite-sex households.

The brief also asserts that studies by the American Psychological Association are wrong in their findings that Gay parents raise well-adjusted children.

Texas Values asks the judge to deny the plaintiffs, two same-sex couples, a temporary injunction preventing state officials from enforcing state laws against Gay and Lesbian marriages.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled on January 13 that the brief be stricken from the court record because 'it cites no legal authority in its motion to this regard.'

The underlying lawsuit involves Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman, who were married in Massachusetts and reside in Austin, and Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss, who reside in San Antonio. De Leon and Dimetman want the state of Texas to recognize them as legal spouses. Holmes and Phariss applied for a marriage license in Texas but were turned down.

San Antonio attorney Daniel McNeel Lane, the lead counsel for both couples, said current Texas law banning same-sex marriage runs counter to the U.S. Constitution and is a 'badge of inferiority.'

'Just as the judicial branch protected the fundamental right to marry and established that discriminatory laws could not prevent mixed-race couples from exercising that right, the courts again must step in to protect the marriage right,' Lane told Reuters.

Judge Garcia was nominated to the federal bench in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. He was previously a member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing San Antonio.

A February 2013 poll commissioned by Equality Texas showed that almost 48% of Texans overall support the idea of marriage equality, but in the 18-29 age group, a whopping 68% support equality.

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