Appeals court returns Texas gay marriage case

As expected, a federal appeals court Wednesday affirmed a lower-court decision that had overturned the Texas ban on gay marriage in 2014.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which overturned bans on gay marriage nationwide, “is the law of the land” and “should not be taken lightly by actors within the jurisdiction of this court.”

The appeals court returned the case to U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio so he can enter a judgment in favor of two couples who had challenged the Texas ban — Cleopatra DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman of Austin, who wanted Texas to recognize their Massachusetts marriage, and Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss of Plano, who wanted to get married in Texas.

Garcia, who ruled in February 2014 that the Texas ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional because it demeaned the dignity of gay couples, had delayed implementation of his ruling while the state appealed — allowing Texas to continue enforcing its ban until last week’s Supreme Court ruling.

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