Gay Marriage Ban In Texas Will Be Heard In Federal Court

The week began with gay couples marrying in Florida. And Friday there’s a court hearing involving the gay marriage ban in Texas. Texas will defend its ban in New Orleans at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Carrie Feibel has this report from New Orleans, where oral arguments begin at 9 a.m.


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The court will hear appeals about gay marriage from three southern states: Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Two couples are represented in the Texas lawsuit.

Cleopatra De Leon and her partner Nicole Dimetman live in Austin.

They spoke last night at a reception in New Orleans for gay marriage supporters.

De Leon says her family has been in Texas since the 1600s.

“As a Texan having that family history I take pride in my state and I really believe that by changing this law we’ll make Texas a better place for families like ours,” says De Leon.  

The two women married a few years ago in Boston but want more legal protection in Texas. They have one child and another due in March.

The other couple in the Texas suit has not gotten married in another state. Vic Holmes is a physician’s assistant and professor. He and his partner live in Plano.

“We shouldn’t have to go somewhere else,”says Holmes. “We should be able to get married in the state where we have our family set up.”

His partner is Mark Phariss, an attorney. Phariss says they’ve been together for 17 years, even when Holmes had to live in other cities while serving in the Air Force. 

“Vic served his country for 23 years,” says Phariss. “And when he served his country he was serving it for the freedom for all. And that includes gay and lesbian Texans and that includes Vic and me.”

Texas is now the largest state with a same-sex marriage ban — gay couples can now marry in 36 states.

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