Texas Traditional Marriage Law Struck Down
Texas is the latest state to have its voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage struck down by a federal judge.
Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the state's traditional marriage amendment is unconstitutional Feb. 26.
The Clinton-appointed judge said defining marriage as between one man and one woman does not have "a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose."
Judge Garcia did issue a stay in the case, meaning the Texas marriage amendment will remain in effect pending a ruling by an appeals court later this year
"As the court pointed out today's ruling is just one step along the pathway towards resolving this," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told reporters.
Abbott is planning to appeal the case.
"The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that states have the authority to define and regulate marriage," he said in a separate statmement.
Republican Gov. Rick Perry condemned the ruling.
"Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens," Perry said.
"The 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions," he continued. "And this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn't be achieved at the ballot box."
Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia are a among the handful of other states that have had their marriage amendments struck down.
Legal experts believe the U.S. Supreme Court will end up deciding next year on the definition of marriage in America.