U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia denied Attorney General Greg Abbott’s request to move the Texas marriage-equality case DeLeon v. Perry out of San Antonio and consolidate several cases in Austin.
The judge found that, while the two cases “share a common issue with the present lawsuit in that all Plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of Defendants’ refusal to let them marry their same-sex partners, the three lawsuits differ in important respects.”
While some defendants want to marry in Texas, others want the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.
Earlier this month, the Austin court hearing one of the cases also denied Abbott’s request to consolidate the cases.
“Furthermore, the Court finds Defendants have failed to establish that Austin is a more convenient venue for this case,” Garcia wrote.
He said that when the venue where the case would be transferred is not shown to be more convenient than that chosen by the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s choice of venue should be respected.
“The Plaintiffs in this case all reside in Texas, and can travel as easily to hearings in either Austin or San Antonio,” Garcia ruled. “Furthermore, the issues to be tried in this case are not unique to one locality. In fact, the statutory and constitutional provisions at issue in this case apply equally across the State of Texas, and the resolution of this case will have state-wide, not localized significance. Accordingly, there are no ‘localized interests’ served by transferring venue to Austin.”
Read full decision here.