Two couples file federal suit to overturn Texas same-sex marriage ban

Two same-sex couplesin Texas filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn thatstate's eight-year-old constitutional amendment that bars gaymarriage, their lawyer said on Wednesday.

Arguments could be heard as early as January in a federalcourt in San Antonio in the case trying to nullify the 2005amendment that says: "marriage in this state shall consist onlyof the union of one man and one woman."

San Antonio attorney Daniel McNeel Lane, the lead counselfor both couples, said current Texas law banning same-sexmarriage runs counter to the US Constitution and is a "badgeof inferiority."

"Just as the judicial branch protected the fundamental rightto marry and established that discriminatory laws could notprevent mixed-race couples from exercising that right, thecourts again must step in to protect the marriage right," Lanetold Reuters.

The suit was filed on behalf of Cleopatra De Leon and NicoleDimetman, two women who live in Austin and were married inMassachusetts, and Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss, two men whowere denied a marriage license when they applied last month inSan Antonio.

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