SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A federal judge in San Antonio on Friday declined to allow same-sex marriages to take place in Texas while the state awaits a hearing before a federal appeals court.
Noting the legal landscape has changed, two same-sex couples who challenged Texas’ ban — Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon and Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes — requested last month that U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia lift a stay and allow same-sex couples to marry.
Garcia ruled last February that Texas’ same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, but stayed that ruling knowing the state would appeal.
The San Antonio Express News reports that Garcia seemed to anticipate that the 5th Circuit would put the stay back in place in the Texas case if he lifted it.
If lifted, he wrote Friday, it would create a rush to courthouses of same-sex couples seeking to get married, only to see themselves in legal limbo should the stay be reimposed by the appeals court.
The 5th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on January 9.