Texas Judge Declares State Marriage Law, DOMA Unconstitutional
DALLAS, TX, October 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Dallas judge ruled last Thursday to hear a "divorce" lawsuit between two men whose same-sex "marriage" was performed in Massachusetts, declaring the state marriage amendment and the state's Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
District Judge Tena Callahan issued her ruling in a state court in Dallas last week to strike down the Texas marriage amendment, as well as the state DOMA, stating that the state ban on same-sex "marriage" violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This ruling marks the first time that a state court judge has struck down marriage laws based on the U. S. Constitution.
The two men seeking the Texas "divorce" were "married" in Cambridge, Mass. in September 2006, and then returned to Dallas. This lawsuit to dissolve their partnership was filed in January.
Immediately after ruling, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that he would appeal Callahan's attack on the laws and constitution of the Lone Star State and defend the traditional definition of marriage that Texas voters overwhelmingly approved in 2005. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who supported the amendment four years ago, stated that he is confident that the voters' and lawmakers' affirmation of marriage as between one man and one woman in the state of Texas would remain standing after this recent challenge.
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorneys said they are planning to file a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the Texas court's ruling.
"The government cannot consider issuing a 'divorce' for a 'marriage' it doesn't recognize. Seventy-five percent of Texans in 2005 made it perfectly clear that marriage in their state is solely between one man and one woman," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel and Texas native Austin R. Nimocks. "The Texas voters understand that marriage laws promote children having both a mother and a father. This ruling runs contrary to the voice of Texans and the historic purposes behind the state's marriage laws."
A similar attack on marriage as the one in Texas is also currently taking place in Oklahoma, where voters approved their state amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman by 76 percent in 2004. In O'Darling v. O'Darling, a "divorce" is being sought by two women allegedly "married" in Canada. That matter is currently pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
In 2007 the Rhode Island Supreme Court refused issue a "divorce" to two women "married" in Massachusetts. Just last month, two women "married" in Canada were denied a "divorce" in Indiana because it would have violated the state's existing law.
Currently, only the states of Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and Iowa permit same-sex "marriages." New Hampshire's same-sex "marriage" law is set to goes into effect on January 1, 2010. Maine's same-sex "marriage" law, enacted this year, is currently on hold, pending a vote by the citizens of Maine in November on the issue. Washington, D.C. voted in May to recognize same-sex "marriages" performed outside of the district.