2014-02-26T211811Z_2_CBREA1P1N5Z00_RTROPTP_2_USA-GAYMARRIAGE-TEXAS

Judge rules Texas same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

A sign is seen outside the County Clerk's office at City Hall in San FranciscoBy Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – The Texas state ban on same-sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional on Wednesday by a U.S. federal judge, who declared a stay on the decision, meaning that the ban stays in effect. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia said the law excludes the two couples who brought the suit from the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. “These Texas laws deny Plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex,” Garcia wrote. The matter has been deferred to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the judge said.

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