Thursday, February 27, 2014

On marriage equality, federal judge rules that Texas must be pulled out of the medieval shithole it inhabits

By Michael J.W. Stickings


Texas on Wednesday became the latest state to have a federal judge strike down its same-sex marriage ban, thanks to a sweeping decision holding that its current prohibition has no "legitimate governmental purpose."

The ruling, by San Antonio-based Judge Orlando Garcia, will not take effect immediately: Its enforcement has been stayed while the case works its way through the appeal process, meaning same-sex couples in Texas cannot get married for the time being.

Still, gay rights supporters and activists believe the judgment -- because of what it says, how it follows similar rulings in other states and where it happened, in one of the most conservative states in the country -- has special significance.

Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa called Wednesday "a historic day for the LGBT community and the state of Texas," while the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's head predicted the ruling "hastens the day when all loving couples who simply want the ability to share the benefits and responsibilities of marriage can."

For all the courageous progressives who are there, fighting to make their home better, Texas is one of those retrograde states where the adoption of marriage equality will take time and meet an enormous backlash from the Republicans who run things.

For now, public opinion in Texas is generally against marriage equality. That may change, and likely will, over time, but rights are rights regardless of public opinion and that's where, like it or not, these rulings are necessary, the federal judiciary stepping in to strike down discriminatory state laws, just as was necessary during the civil rights era when both legislatures and public opinion were resistant, to say the least, to change.

I'm not sure just how "historic" yesterday was for Texas, but this ruling, coming in one of the reddest of red states, is certainly a huge step in the right direction.

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