A federal district judge on Friday declined to lift his stay of a ruling striking down Texas' same-sex marriage bans.
The decision from Judge Orlando L. Garcia means same-sex marriages won't be allowed pending an appeal of the decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court.
Last month, plaintiff same-sex couples asked Garcia to lift the stay since the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals of decisions overturning marriage bans from other federal appeals courts. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is defending the marriage bans, responded that lifting the stay would be "deeply offensive."
In rejecting the motion to lift the stay, Garcia noted that the Supreme Court has never declined to impose a stay on same-sex marriages in a state where a circuit court hasn't resolved the issue. He also noted that the 5th Circuit recently granted a stay of a ruling striking down Missisippi's same-sex marriage ban:
"Lifting the stay would not bring finality to this Fourtenth Amendment claim. To the contrary, such action would only be temporary, with confusion and doubto folow. The day for finality and legal certainty in the long and dificult journey for equality is closer than ever before. Ultimately, as mentioned in the February 12, 2014 hearing, this Court believes the isue wil ultimately be resolved by the United States Supreme Court and 'a group of five people will decide this case.' Acordingly, Plaintiffs' motion is DENIED."
The 5th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the Texas and Mississippi cases — as well as one from Louisiana — on Jan. 9.
Read Garcia's full order denying the motion to lift the stay, AFTER THE JUMP …