POLITICS

Texas Judge Rules State Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Unconstitutional

02/17/2015 05:38 pm ET | Updated Feb 17, 2015
r_drewek via Getty Images

A Texas probate judge ruled Tuesday that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

The ruling, by Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman, was part of an estate battle, according to the Austin-American Statesman. An Austin woman sought to have her eight-year relationship with a woman who died of cancer in June recognized as a common-law marriage.

“Oh, we had a marriage. It was definitely a marriage,” Sonemaly Phrasavath, the woman challenging the state's ban, told KXAN late last year. “We carried ourselves as such. She was in every sense my wife and vice versa.”

The Texas attorney general cannot appeal the ruling because he is not a party in the case, and the siblings of the deceased woman, who are challenging Phrasavath, have not decided whether they will appeal, the Statesman reported.

Last February, a federal judge ruled that the Texas ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, but imposed a stay on the ruling, predicting that it would be appealed. That appeal was heard by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last month.

Lawyers asked the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last week to lift the stay and allow same-sex marriages in Texas to proceed. The request came after the Supreme Court allowed gay marriages to proceed in Alabama following a federal judge's ruling that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

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