Yesterday we reported that same-sex couples in Missouri and South Dakota had asked federal judges to allow marriages to begin immediately in those states.
Now attorneys for two same-sex couples in Texas, including Cleopatra DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman (above) have done the same.
Like the Missouri and South Dakota motions, the Texas filing relies on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week to allow same-sex marriages to begin in Alabama.
The Texas Observer reports:
If the 5th Circuit doesn't lift the stay for all same-sex couples, the motion asks that it be lifted for the limited purpose of establishing the parental rights of plaintiff Cleopatra DeLeon, whose wife, Nicole Dimetman, is expecting a child in March.
The motion cites the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to halt same-sex marriages in both Alabama and Florida, after federal district judges struck down bans in those states. The high court will hear appeals in April from four states where same-sex marriage bans were upheld. …
Neel Lane (right), an attorney for the couples, said in a statement he remains confident the 5th Circuit will rule in favor of marriage equality.
"But same-sex marriages are proceeding across the South and Southwest, while Texas remains the most populous state where gays and lesbians are deprived of that right," Lane said. "Today we urge the Fifth Circuit to remedy that omission immediately.”
The Texas motion includes powerful arguments in favor of lifting the stay at least for DeLeon, outlining the many steps the couple would have to go through for her to adopt their expected daughter, and explaining that if something happens to Dimetman during childbirth, she may never be able to do so.
"If Dimetman is otherwise incapacitated, DeLeon’s right and ability to care for the child will be far from assured, as she will not have parental rights unless and until the adoption is completed. Thus, DeLeon may not be able to rock the baby to sleep; she may not be able to comfort the baby when he or she is upset; she may not be able to direct the baby’s medical care. Adoption takes time, and if something happens to Dimetman, time will not be a luxury that DeLeon and the baby have."
Last February, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia struck down Texas' marriage ban as unconstitutional, but stayed his decision pending the state's appeal to the 5th Circuit, which heard oral arguments last month.
Observers believe a 5th Circuit panel is likely to rule in favor of marriage equality, but it's unclear whether it will do so before the Supreme Court addresses the issue. The high court will hear appeals in April from four states where marriage bans were upheld.
In December, Judge Garcia denied a motion to lift the stay in Texas — but that was before the Supreme Court allowed marriages to begin in Alabama and Florida.
Read the full motion, AFTER THE JUMP …