AUSTIN, Texas —
Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes filed their federal civil rights lawsuit saying Texas’ ban unconstitutionally denied them the fundamental right to marry because of their sexual orientation. Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman filed a lawsuit saying Texas officials violated their rights by not recognizing their marriage conducted in a state where gay marriage is legal.
“Having been together almost 17 years, we look forward to the day when we can get married and when all gay Texans enjoy equal rights to marry as well,” Phariss and Holmes said in a statement.
Dimetman and De Leon said they hope to retake their vows in Texas.
Todd Staples, a candidate for lieutenant governor who drafted the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, denounced the court’s decision.
“I am disappointed that judicial activism is once again trying to trump the will of the people. This ruling is the poster child of the culture war occurring in America today,” he said.
Another gay couple has filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in Austin. In that case, two men argue that the ban discriminates against them based on their gender. That case is scheduled for a hearing later this year.
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