GOP’s Cruz, Perry React to Gay Marriage Ruling

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Feb 27, 2014

In unsurprising fashion, two of Texas' most prominent members of the Republican Party issued statements following a federal judge's ruling Wednesday, who said that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

It took no time at all for Senator Ted Cruz to respond Judge Orlando Garcia's ruling, who left the gay marriage ban in place pending a ruling by an appeals court later this year.

"Today's ruling by a federal judge, invalidating Texas' ban on same-sex marriage, is a troubling display of judicial activism," Cruz wrote on his website. "Our Constitution leaves it to the States to define marriage, and unelected judges should not be substituting their own policy views for the reasoned judgments of the citizens of Texas, who adopted our marriage law directly by referendum. The court's decision undermines the institution of marriage, and I applaud Attorney General Abbott's decision to appeal this ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals."

But Cruz isn't the only high profiled Texas GOPer to rant about the ruling. Texas Gov. Rick Perry also took issue with Garcia's decision too, releasing a more succinct statement Wednesday.

"Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens," Perry said. "The 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions, and this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn't be achieved at the ballot box. We will continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state."

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he will appeal the ruling, adding the issue will "ultimately be resolved by a higher court."

"Because the judge has stayed his own decision, his ruling has no immediate practical effect," Abbott said in a statement posted on his website. "Instead, the ultimate decision about Texas law will be made by the Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that States have the authority to define and regulate marriage.

"The Texas Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman," he continued. "If the Fifth Circuit honors those precedents, then today's decision should be overturned and the Texas Constitution will be upheld."

Of course, lesser conservatives had something to say about the ruling, like Brain Brown, the head of the National Organization for Marriage, a group bent on banning same-sex marriage throughout the country.

Brown wrote on NOM’s blog:

"We’ve seen a rash of these rulings in recent weeks, all making the same errors about binding Supreme Court precedents relevant to marriage and all issued by activist judges bound and determined to redefine marriage in defiance of thousands of years of human experience. These egregious decisions by unelected judges throwing out the votes of millions of Americans have been shamefully encouraged, aided, and abetted by the lawless actions of President Obama and his administration, especially the Attorney General. It simply has to stop. Critical issues like marriage that are foundational to civilization cannot be permitted to be taken over by activist judges and out of control political appointees. The voices and values of ordinary citizens are being trampled by judges determined to impose profound social change that affects citizens in the deepest and most fundamental ways. The American people, and our leaders in Congress, need to step up and restore the powers of government to their proper balance."

Finally this is what Jonathan Saenz, president of the anti-gay marriage group Texas Values, had to say about the incredible ruling via a press release:

"This ruling by unelected federal Judge Orlando Garcia is the most egregious form of judicial activism of our generation. This hollow victory and clear attack on morality and the rule of law will not stand in Texas. The fight for marriage is far from over. This is just the beginning of an epic battle that the Texas people will ultimately win in name of the only true and lawful definition of marriage: one man, one woman."

When Garcia, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, made his ruling he said the same-sex couples who are challenging the ban would likely win their case but would not enforce his ruling pending the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is already hearing tow other states’ cases. He will also give Texas time to appeal the case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

"Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," Garcia wrote. "These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex."


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