Texas' marriage amendment under assault

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 10/6/2009 6:00:00 AM Texas will appeal a ruling that the state's Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

In January, two Texas men who were "married" in Massachusetts three years ago filed for divorce in Dallas. State District Judge Tena Callahan decided to proceed with the case and on Thursday ruled the Lone Star State's marriage amendment unconstitutional. She ruled that the state ban on same-sex "marriage" violates equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Austin Nimocks, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defense Fund, tells OneNewsNow Callahan's decision is a slap in the face of Texas voters.

"The constitution is ultimately the document of the people, and the people have the final say," the ADF attorney argues. "And when Texas voters vote by an overwhelming margin of 75 percent that marriage is what it always has been -- as the union of one man and one woman -- it really goes outside the realm of what a state court judge is designed to do, to strike down that law and tell 75 percent of Texas voters that they were wrong."

Both the governor and attorney general of Texas have said the case will be appealed, and Alliance Defense Fund will be filing briefs in their favor every step of the way -- and all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, if necessary.

ADF is currently defending against a similar attack on the Oklahoma state marriage amendment, approved by 76 percent of voters in 2004. That case is currently pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.