Texas became the newest state to have a federal judge restrict its same-sex marriage ban. On February 26, 2014 in San Antonio, Orlando Garcia reversed the Texas ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that the prohibition is unconstitutional. Of course the court decision in Texas was only made in obedience with the U.S Constitution and the Supreme Court’s precedent.
Garcia stated, “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no shelter in our United States Constitution” In fact the laws in Texas could not deny people access to the foundation of marriage and its numerous rights and privileges because those people choose to be married with a person of the same sex. However, the 10th circuit plans to appeal the court ruling with the argument that States have the authority to define and regulate marriage. Those that oppose marriage of the same sex also argue that the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees Texas voters the autonomy to decide on the restrictions for marriage. Texans spoke loud and clear by significant votes to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of the citizens.
Those that support same sex marriage in Texas argue that equal treatment of all individuals under the law is not simply an ambition it is a constitutional obligation. The law in Texas is unconstitutional because, without a rational reason to governmental purpose, it denies same-sex couples the benefits, pride and value of celebrating marriage. While critics argue that same-sex marriage would hurt children that are raised in them and that it would suppress reproduction. Allowing same sex marriages would also lead to of bigamy, incest, and group marriage. However, reproduction has never been a qualification for marriage and tradition cannot suffice as rational foundation for a law. In the end Garcia argued that Texas might have an 'unquestioned authority' to regulate and define marriage, but only in a way that does not overstep on an individual's constitutional rights.
I can tie this current event back my course, American government, as the issue of same sex marriage deals with interpreting the constitution. In the Wasserman book, it states the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman, and said that states could not be forced to recognize same-sex marriages authorized in another state. While that argument supports the right of the Texas government to oppress same sex marriage, the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment can be referenced as it prevents national and state governments from depriving individuals of their lives, liberty, or property without due process of law. Those amendments help with the argument that the state’s ban on same sex marriage violates their rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th amendment of the constitution of the United States. Texas failure to recognize out of state marriage is also unconstitutional.
When the U.S Supreme Court holds a decision on a court case, their ruling his used to set the standards for similar cases that follow. In a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court found that sections of DOMA were unconstitutional (2013). The federal government cannot refuse to recognize valid same sex marriages. This case has a good argument because we will see if whether the lower court will continue to apply the Supreme Court’s decision in the case last year (United States v Windsor) or do what the federal government cannot. Also, the Supremacy Clause instructs that all state judges must follow the federal law when a conflict arises between federal law and state law so I am curious how this case will play out. http://www.scribd.com/doc/209429696/Texas-Gay-Marriage-Ruling Current event
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