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1:13-cv-00631 #55

1:13-cv-00631 #55

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc 55 - Plaintiffs' Opposition to state's motion to stay
Doc 55 - Plaintiffs' Opposition to state's motion to stay

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Published by: Equality Case Files on Mar 24, 2014
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05/28/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTWESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXASAUSTIN DIVISION
C
HRISTOPHER 
 D
ANIEL
 M
C
N
OSKY
 
AND
 S
VEN
 S
TRICKER 
,
 Plaintiffs,
v. C
ASE
 N
O
. 1:13-CV-0631 SST
EXAS
 G
OVERNOR 
 
ICK 
 P
ERRY
, et al
 Defendants
, ______________________________________________________________________________ PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO STATE DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS PENDING APPEAL IN A RELATED CASE
 
 ______________________________________________________________________________ 
TO THE HONORABLE SAM SPARKS:Plaintiffs Christopher Daniel McNosky and Sven Stricker move in opposition to
STATE
 
DEFENDANTS
MOTION
 
TO
 
STAY
 
PROCEEDINGS
 
PENDING
 
APPEAL
 
IN
 
A
 
RELATED
 
CASE
. Such a stay needlessly delays
 McNosky
’s necessary adjudication, promotes judicial inefficiency, and fails to reduce the financial burdens of either party. Due to these and reasons outlined below, State Defendants’ motion should be DISMISSED.1
Case 1:13-cv-00631-SS Document 55 Filed 03/22/14 Page 1 of 5
 
I. FACTS
Plaintiffs’ Claims
 Zahrn
’s primary claim: State Defendants’ discrimination against Plaintiffs’
sexual 
 
orientation
 is unconstitutional. “[T]hese Texas laws single out individuals who are homosexual for disfavored treatment.” (
 Zahrn
, Plaintiffs’ original complaint)
 De Leon
’s primary claim: State Defendants’ discrimination against Plaintiffs’
sexual 
 
orientation
 is unconstitutional. “By explicitly denying civil marriage to same-sex couples. Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.” (
 De Leon,
Plaintiffs’ original complaint)
 McNosky
’s primary claim: State Defendants’ discrimination against Plaintiffs’
sex 
 is unconstitutional. “[Texas’ same-sex marriage ban] must be invalidated by this Court under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as prohibited discrimination based solely on biological sex.” (
 McNosky
, Plaintiffs’ amended motion for summary judgment)
II. ARGUMENT
A. Classifications of
 Sex 
 and
 Sexual Orientation
 are Distinct
The U.S. Supreme Court makes clear distinction between classifications of
 sex
 and
 sexual 
 
orientation
.
 Reed v. Reed 
, 404 U.S. 71 (1971);
 
Craig v. Boren
, 429 U.S. 190 (1976);
 Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan
, 458 U.S. 718 (1982);
 J.E.B. v. Alabama
, 511 U.S. 127 (1994);
United States v. Virginia
, 518 U.S. 515 (1996); and
Glenn v. Brumby
, 724 F. Supp. 2d 1284 (2010), establish
 sex
 as a quasi-suspect classification to which heightened scrutiny must be applied. “…statutory classifications that distinguish between males and females are ‘subject to [heightened] 2
Case 1:13-cv-00631-SS Document 55 Filed 03/22/14 Page 2 of 5
 
scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause.’” (429 U.S. 190, 197) “To withstand constitutional challenge, previous cases establish that classifications by gender must serve important governmental objectives and must be substantially related to achievement of those objectives.” (429 U.S. 190, 197) “…[T]he party seeking to uphold a statute that classifies individuals on the basis of their gender must carry the burden of showing an ‘exceedingly persuasive justification" for the classification.’” (458 U.S. 718, 724) “…[T]his Court consistently has subjected gender-based classifications to heightened scrutiny…In over 20 cases beginning in 1971, however, we have subjected government classifications  based on sex to heightened scrutiny.” (511 U.S. 127, 135 & 152)Unlike
 sex
-based challenges, similar
 sexual 
 
orientation
-based challenges of a law are subject to
rational basis review
. “[The Court has] been most likely to apply rational basis review to hold a law unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause where, as here, the challenged legislation inhibits  personal relationships.” (
 Lawrence v. Texas,
 539 U.S. 558, 581) Unlike
 sex
, the U.S. Supreme Court does not consider
 sexual 
 
orientation
 a suspect classification subject to
heightened scrutiny
. Thus, classifications of
 sex
 and
 sexual 
 
orientation
 are clearly distinct.
B.
 De
 
 Leon
&
 McNosky
 are Not Related
State Defendants claim, “…if the Fifth Circuit concludes that Texas law does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, then any proceedings undertaken in this Court with respect to those issues will have been futile and a waste of resources,” because, “…that ruling will apply with equal force in the
 McNosky
 and
 Zahrn
 cases.” (
 McNosky
, doc. 54, ¶7) State Defendants' claim is patently false. In
 De
 
 Leon
, if the Fifth Circuit concludes that Texas law does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, it will do so respecting
sexual 
 
orientation
,
only. Plaintiffs in all three Texas lawsuits make identical claims regarding
which
 federal laws were violated, 3
Case 1:13-cv-00631-SS Document 55 Filed 03/22/14 Page 3 of 5

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