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Two couples challenge Texas ban on gay marriage with federal lawsuit

Governor Rick Perry reacts by reiterating his opposition to marriage equality
Texas Governor Rick_Perry

Two couples filed a federal lawsuit this week to challenge the gay marriage ban in the state of Texas and the state's refusal to recognize same-sex unions from other states.

Mark Pharris and Vic Holmes and Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman are the plaintiffs in a suit that claims the right to equal protection under the law in the US constitution prohibits a ban on gay marriage such as the one that exists in Texas.

The lawsuit states in part: 'In Texas, plaintiffs cannot legally marry their partner before family, friends, and society - a right enjoyed by citizens who wish to marry a person of the opposite sex. And should they become married in a state that has established marriage equality, Texas explicitly voids their marriage. There is no rational basis, much less a compelling government purpose, for Texas to deny plaintiffs the same right to marry enjoyed by the majority of society.'

Texas voters in 2005 approved a proposition that amended the state constitution to define marriage as consisting 'only of the union of one man and one woman.' Several legislative attempts since then to reverse the law have failed.

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been an outspoken opponent of equal rights for gays and his office reacted to the news of the lawsuit by reiterating his position on marriage.

'The governor agrees with the majority of Texans, who voted to define marriage in the Texas Constitution as between one man and one woman,' spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said in an email to the San Antonio Express-News.

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