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Texas couples file same-sex marriage lawsuit

A lawyer representing two same-sex couples in Texas announced on Wednesday that a complaint is filed [text] in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] challenging Article 1, Sec. 32 [text] of the state's constitution that bans marriage between same-sex partners. Texas passed the amendment in 2005 and the state does not recognize lawful same-sex marriages from other states. The complaint was filed in the federal court, as the plaintiffs allege the ban in Texas violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment [LLI Backgrounder] of the US Constitution. The first set of plaintiffs, Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman, were legally married in Massachusetts in 2009 and the couple is seeking recognition of their marriage in Texas. The second pair of plaintiffs are male residents of Texas that were denied an application for a marriage license last month in San Antonio. Arguments in the case may be scheduled as early as January 2014.

Just five months after the Supreme Court decision in US v. Windsor [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; JURIST report], a number of states passed legislations to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] and several states permitted judicial action to advance in their courts. Last week, Illinois became the sixteenth US state to legalize same-sex marriage, joined by Hawaii [JURIST reports] earlier this month. Also this month, a federal judge in Pennsylvania [JURIST report] denied motions to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage and scheduled a trial date [AP report] for June 2014. Similarly, a lawsuit in Ohio will proceed and a suit was brought this month in Idaho [JURIST reports].

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