Local Community Reacts to Texas Gay Marriage Ruling

Local Community Reacts to Texas Gay Marriage Ruling

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Supporters of gay marriage in Texas are celebrating what many are saying is a milestone in their fight for equality.

"We will continue to make a few steps forward, a few steps back," Paula Waldrop said. "We have gained momentum."

On Wednesday, San Antonio Federal Judge Orlando Garcia ruled the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

This comes after two same-sex couples filed a lawsuit. Same-sex couples won't be allowed to get married while the ruling is appealed.

Still, supporters said they're cautiously optimistic.

"While it is an excellent start, that's all it is. It's a start in a very conservative state," Waldrop said.

Waldrop is the president of the Odessa chapter of PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Waldrop said she's encouraged by the news and was surprised when she found out. She wasn't the only one.

"I hate to say it but it seems that's the trend in our country," Fr. Mark Woodruff, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Odessa, said. "It seems like it's just a matter of time where it becomes a national thing."

Fr. Woodruff said said the catholic church welcomes everyone. However, they stand firm in their beliefs.

"Just because something might be legal doesn't mean it's moral," Fr. Woodruff said. "We believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and it's in part for the procreation of children."

Gov. Rick Perry echoed that sentiment in a statement saying, "Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our constitution and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens."

He goes on to say, "This is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn't be achieved at the ballot box."

Depending on the ruling from the Appeals Court, the case could make its way to the Supreme Court.

"We're getting some good response, some good positive response and that's a good indication that sooner or later, we'll have it," Waldrop said. "We'll have equality in this state. It may take a while but we'll get there."