Pregnant couple wants court to hear Texas same-sex marriage case soon

Cleopatra De Leon (left) and Nicole Dimetman

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A lesbian couple in Austin is calling on a federal court to speed up their case challenging the Texas ban on same-sex marriage.

Nicole Dimetman is pregnant for the first time and expected to give birth to the couple’s second child on March 15, 2015.  Her wife, Cleopatra De Leon, carried their first child two years ago. Dimetman had to adopt him.

“We shouldn’t have to get a criminal background check, we shouldn’t have to be fingerprinted, this is a child we planned for and was conceived in love within the bounds of our marriage,” said De Leon.

In the eyes of the law, Dimetman will be seen as a single parent, since the state of Texas doesn’t recognize their marriage.

“We are fighting for our family, even as our family is growing there is nothing more important that what we are doing right now,” said Dimetman, who had to adopt De Leon’s son. “We were definitely hoping that by the time we had our second child, that all of these issues would be resolved and at this point we feel like we’re so close, if we could only hurry up and get there.”

De Leon and Dimetman were married in Massachusetts in 2009. Since their marriage is not accepted in Texas, they don’t have parental rights, medical rights, or rights after death, all reasons why they have challenged the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The couple filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas to lift the ban earlier this year.

A federal judge ruled in February that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, but same-sex couples still cannot marry in Texas. The state is now appealing that decision.

“I think that one of the major reasons we wanted things to move more quickly that I don’t want to have Nicole travel in her 3rd trimester or even when the baby is just born,” said De Leon. The couple worries if they travel to New Orleans closer to Dimetman’s due date, the baby could possibly be born in Louisiana and they will have to deal with adoption laws in a separate state. The couple would ideally like to have a November court date for oral arguments.

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