Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes

Two couples, including Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes of Plano, asked a federal judge in San Antonio to lift his stay and allow Texas couples to marry immediately.

Phariss and Holmes sued Texas for the right to marry and have out-of-state marriage recognized along with a couple from Austin. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled in February that the Texas ban is unconstitutional, but he put a stay on his order while the state appealed.

Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from other states and the number of marriage equality states increased from 19 to 35.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case on Jan. 9. Should Orlando lift his stay, the conservative 5th Circuit is likely to place a new stay on the ruling until it hears the case.