AG Greg Abbott plans to appeal gay marriage ban lift - Dallas News |

AG Greg Abbott plans to appeal gay marriage ban lift

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told supporters in Fort Worth on Thursday that his office is already working on an appeal to a federal judge's ruling lifting Texas' ban on gay marriage.

"This is a case that's gonna go first to the 5th Circuit, then to the Supreme Court," said Abbott. "There's gonna be some differing decision from courts of appeals across the country, and the Supreme Court will just have to resolve this."   

Constitutional lawyer Lynne Rambo says many federal district courts have ruled that banning gay marriage violates the constitution – specifically, the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

"The Equal Protection Clause is there to ensure majorities do not enact burdensome laws on the minority just because they're different," said Rambo.

There are civil lawsuits in 24 states asking courts to overturn same-sex marriage bans.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said this week that state attorney generals did not have to defend local laws if they believed they violated the U.S. Constitution.

Thursday, a judge in Kentucky ruled that state officials must recognize gay marriages performed out of state.

"As a practicing attorney, if I had a client who was on the side of the ban, I would tell them they were fighting a losing battle," said Rambo.

As for Texas, the 5th Court of Appeals in New Orleans, where the appeal is being filed, is seen as especially conservative.

Legal insiders say it's one of the few courts in the country that might uphold a ban on gay marriage.

"That argument likely should take place before the end of this year," said Abbott. "I can't predict when that decision will come out."

While there may not be a decision before Election Day, Abbott made it clear his goal is to have the gay marriage ban upheld.

He reminded supporters on Thursday that 75 percent of Texans concur with him and voted to approve the Defense of Marriage Act in 2005.

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