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Plaintiffs respond to Abbott’s brief in same sex marriage appeal

They give it the respect it deserves.

RedEquality

Lawyers for two same-sex couples who are trying to overturn Texas’ gay marriage ban said Tuesday that the state’s attempt to defend its prohibition has defied both logic and a stream of recent judicial rulings.

“As numerous courts already concluded, no conceivable basis exists to deny same-sex couples their right to marry or to refuse to recognize their lawful out-of-state marriages,” said the plaintiffs’ brief filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. It is one of five federal appellate courts reviewing rulings that overturned gay marriage bans in 11 states.

In their brief, plaintiffs’ lawyers such as Neel Lane and Barry Chasnoff of San Antonio listed state laws that confer benefits on heterosexual married couples. But the laws deny to gay couples key rights, such as a community property right to part of a pension and automatic rights to make health care and burial decisions, the brief said.

The children of same-sex couples also lose out, it said. If not adopted, they may not be entitled to child support if their parents break up, the brief noted.

“Far from encouraging a stable environment for child rearing, [the state’s gay marriage ban] denies children of same-sex parents the protections and stability they would enjoy if their parents could marry,” the plaintiffs said.

[…]

The newly filed brief cites hardships borne by the four lead plaintiffs, Plano lawyer Mark Phariss and physician assistant Victor Holmes, who tried to obtain a marriage license; and two Austin lesbians, Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman, who want Texas to recognize their out-of-state marriage.

“Texas veterans like Holmes and De Leon cannot share their [Veterans Administration] benefits with a same-sex spouse,” it said.

Via Texas Politics, you can see the plaintiffs’ response here. Abbott’s brief, as we know, was utterly ridiculous, and took a lot longer to get filed than the response. Lord knows, the plaintiffs have all the evidence and the virtue of being right on their side. The state gets to respond to the plaintiffs’ response, no doubt with more baloney, by September 26 – assuming Abbott doesn’t ask for more delays, of course – at which point the Fifth Circuit can finally schedule oral arguments. Let’s get this going already. The Current has more.

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