Texas Marriage Case Update from the Fifth Circuit Court

Jan 12, 2015

Jonathan speaking 5th circuit (620-220)

On Friday, the Texas marriage case was before the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for oral argument by the lawyers on this important case. This case about Texas’ one man, one woman marriage definition was heard and will be decided by a three-judge panel, which includes Judges Higginbotham, Smith, and Graves. The federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decides cases from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Texas Values staff members were present in court for this case in New Orleans alongside our friends with the Louisiana Family Forum. Texas Values filed a legal amicus brief in this case supporting our marriage laws between one man and one woman, along with 20 other legal briefs that supported Texas marriage laws.

Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell did an exceptional job of presenting the oral argument in favor of Texas marriage laws. Texas’ newly sworn-in Attorney General Ken Paxton also released a statement supporting Texas marriage laws and the defense of such laws at the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the arguments, Mr. Mitchell made it clear that Texas’ law is based on acknowledging the biological uniqueness of a man and a woman who naturally create a child, and the social and economic benefit of encouraging parents to raise their natural child together in a married household. This reasoning by the state, and the democratic process followed by the people of Texas to create this law, is consistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent and current rules of judicial review.

In other words, if federal judges follow the law and do not legislate from the bench, marriage between one man and one woman in Texas wins.

However, some of the comments and questions from a few of the federal judges suggest that we could see a judicial decision that is based more on flawed public opinion than on the rule of law. Please continue to pray that these federal judges will respect the role of the people and the democratic process and will ultimately uphold Texas marriage laws.

Our concerns about redefining marriage laws are many. Supporters of redefining marriage say it’s about “equality” — so let’s be clear about what redefining marriage “equals.” Redefining marriage equals wedding photographers and bakers fined and forced out of businesses, men entering little girls bathrooms, taxpayers being forced to fund government benefits for same sex couples, and  pastor and pulpit persecution. Just ask the Houston 5 pastors whose sermons were subpoenaed by the Houston Mayor!

Texas Values president and attorney, Jonathan Saenz, was the main voice outside the courtroom for media interviews and messaging supporting Texas marriage laws after the court proceedings concluded. Texas Values continues to be the leading voice and force in protecting marriage between one man and one woman, and we will continue our efforts at an even greater level this New Year. But now more than ever, we need your prayers, support, and activism to ensure Texas’ laws are protected and marriage is upheld.

Will you join our growing grassroots movement in Texas by signing our Texas Marriage Declaration?

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