Same-sex couple on Texas marriage ruling: 'I wasn't sure I'd liv - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Same-sex couple on Texas marriage ruling: 'I wasn't sure I'd live to see it happen'

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Wednesday, a judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, but the Texas Attorney General says he will appeal that decision. Wednesday, a judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, but the Texas Attorney General says he will appeal that decision.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Texas' ban on same-sex marriage has been struck down, but there's still a long road ahead before this issued is settled for the Lone Star State. Texas state leaders have made it clear that they will file appeals to fight this ruling. Still, East Texas gay couples say they are excited and hopeful for change.  

"When I first heard it, I thought... in Texas? This is wonderful," says Lou Anne Smoot of Tyler.

Lou Anne Smoot and Brenda McWilliams have been together for more than 13 years. They say not if, but when, Texas recognizes gay marriage, they'll be among the first gay couples to tie the knot.

"I wasn't sure I'd live to see it happen," says Smoot.

Wednesday, a judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, but the Texas Attorney General says he will appeal that decision.

"We will just continue the effort of defending the Texas constitution. I believe, if the Supreme Court or the lower courts apply well-established Supreme Court principles, the Texas constitution will be upheld," said Abbott.

Immediately after the court's decision, Governor Rick Perry released a statement saying, "The 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions, and this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn't be achieved at the ballot box."

However, the long road and opposition won't deter this East Texas couple.

"I don't think that we can take away an individual's civil right just by popular vote," says McWilliams.

"I know that it will be appealed. I feel certain that it will be. It may be years before we ever reap the benefits of this, but I feel certain that we will reap those benefits and gay couples will be able to marry in Texas," adds Smoot.

They say what they want is simple... equal rights and unity without uniformity.

"There's not them and us. We're all people," says McWilliams.

A federal judge will give Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott time to appeal the ruling allowing same-sex marriage. That appeal would be heard by the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans, which is one of the most conservative courts in the country.

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