Abbott responds to motion to lift same-sex marriage ruling

He’s against it. Try not to be surprised.


Texas officials want a federal judge to uphold the state’s same-sex marriage ban, calling a request by gay couples to be allowed to immediately marry “untimely” and “out of order.”

“The plaintiffs offer no explanation for why they waited so long to file their motion,”Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote in a court document filed Tuesday. “They should not be rewarded for lying behind the log and springing this challenge on the Court and the State at the eleventh hour, demanding immediate relief.”


Abbott, the governor-elect, however, said the plaintiffs should be forced to wait until the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears the Texas and Louisiana cases on Jan. 9: “Modifying the preliminary-injunction order to remove the stay would interfere with the Fifth Circuit’s appellate jurisdiction.”

Finally, Abbott and his deputies deny that significant problems could befall the plaintiffs if they are not allowed to wed immediately. Nicole Dimetman-DeLeon, who is challening the ban with her wife Cleopatra DeLeon, is pregnant with the couple’s second child and has expressed a concern that her partner could not claim legal parenthood over the baby if she fell ill or died.

“These alleged harms are speculative; they are contingent on death or incapacity of one of the parties, but the plaintiffs do not allege any threat or expectation that these potential tragedies will befall them,” Abbott wrote.

See here for the background, and here for a copy of the state’s response. It’s pretty rich for Abbott to argue that the plaintiffs should have filed this motion earlier if they were serious given how long it took him to file his appellate briefs. The plaintiffs asked for an expedited hearing on that in May, and they asked for an earlier court date for the hearing, neither of which they got. One could argue that they finally ran out of patience. The rest is about what you’d expect. I have no idea what Judge Garcia’s time frame for this may be, but I’ll bet he’s quicker about it than either Abbott or the Fifth Circuit have been.

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