SAN ANTONIO -

During a two-hour hearing before Federal Judge Orlando Garcia on Wednesday, passionate arguments were made by attorneys on both sides of the debate on the constitutionality of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage.

Nicole Dimetman and Cleo De Leon, a couple from Austin who were married in Massachusetts where gay marriage is allowed, and Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes from Plano filed the suit.

In it, they asked for a preliminary injunction that would prohibit the state from enforcing the ban on same-sex marriage.

They claim it violates the equal protection amendment in the U.S. Constitution.

“Just like for heterosexual couples, gay couples have the same issues,” said Barry Chastnoff, the attorney representing both couples. “They have the same concerns (and) they should have the same rights."

Those in support of the ban argued that this is just the beginning of a long fight.

“This battle will continue on and Texans, as you would expect, will ultimately win this battle on the issue of marriage,” said Jonathan Saenz, of the special interest group Texas Values. “The definition being 'between one man and one woman.'”

In a similar hearing in Kentucky on Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that Kentucky must recognize same sex-marriages performed in other states.

Both the Texas and Kentucky cases are expected to be appealed.

Garcia acknowledged that fact on Wednesday. He said he would announce his decision “at a later date."

“No matter how I rule, this case will ultimately be decided by five people, and I’m not one of them,” Garcia said, an obvious reference to the U.S. Supreme Court.

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.