Wednesday, 5 March 2014

US judge overturns Texas gay marriage ban, and writes a few pearls of wisdom

Sometimes it is possible to read pearls of wisdom in a judgment, that go beyond the mere dispute that is before the court. This much was clear in a recent case in Texas when US District Court Judge Orlando Garcia found that the Texas laws that said that gay marriage was banned were unconstitutional, and were struck down. The judge however stayed his order pending an appeal. Here are those pearls of wisdom:

Texas' current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason.

The Court agrees that throughout history, many federal and state laws have categorically discriminated against homosexuals

Sexual orientation is so fundamental to a person's identity that one ought not be forced to choose between one's sexual orientation and one's rights as an individual - even if one could make a choice.

The scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic.

The history of same-sex marriage bans across the country illustrates the historical lack of political power possessed by gays and lesbians.

Homosexual couples are as capable as other couples of raising well adjusted children.

Procreation is not and has never been a qualification for marriage.

Same-sex marriage does not make it more or less likely that heterosexuals will marry and engage in activities that lead to procreation.

Same-sex couples, although unable to "naturally procreate", can and do have children.

The only purpose served by treating same-sex married couples differently than opposite sex married couples is the same improper impose inequality and to make gay citizens unequal under the law.

Tradition alone cannot form a rational basis for a law.

Keeping history and tradition intact is not a justification for infringement of an individual's rights.

Equal protection is at the heart of our legal system and is essential for the existence of a free society.

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