Texas won't admit it, but marriage equality is coming to the state. And while we wait for that certainty, Texas Monthly dives into the issue through the compelling story of a gay couple suing to make it so.
The venerable monthly dedicated its March cover to gay marriage and the story of Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman, the Austin couple who along with Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes sued the state to quash its marriage ban. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia struck down the state's ban in February 2014, and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in their case last month.
The federal appeals court is likely to hold its ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a decision in other gay marriage cases in June. In the meantime, Texas Monthly dives in with a cover shot of the women and their child plus a look at why the state won't let them get married.
The lawsuit coincides with a fundamental change taking place in the country at large. Less than two years after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in United States v. Windsor—which gutted the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that defined marriage as the union between one man and one woman—11 states have legalized same-sex marriage, and judicial rulings have brought it to 25 more states. Texas, which passed a constitutional ban a decade ago with 76 percent of the vote, is one of the last, stubborn holdouts, though recent polls suggest that opposition around the state is also declining. Last fall, a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll of registered voters found that 47 percent of respondents said they did not believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry; 42 percent supported same-sex marriage; and 11 percent were undecided.