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Group buys former Armour meatpacking site in Stockyards

The 16.8-acre site of the historic, former Armour meatpacking plant in Fort Worth’s Stockyards has changed hands, and its new owners aren’t saying anything about their plans. Chesapeake Land Development Co., which bought the site

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Hulen Pointe Shopping Center sold

Hulen Pointe Shopping Center, located in southwest Fort Worth on South Hulen Street one mile south of Hulen Mall, has been purchased by Addison-based Bo Avery with TriMarsh Properties for an undisclosed price.

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Dallas-Fort Worth in top five commercial real estate markets in 2015

According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 report, just co-published by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 5, with two other Texas cities, Houston and Austin ranking at No. 1 and 2 respectively. San Francisco ranks No. 3 and Denver No. 4.

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Social House Fort Worth plans to open mid-November

Social House has leased 5,045 square feet at 2801-2873 W Seventh St. in Fort Worth, according to Xceligent Inc.

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Fort Worth temporarily stops issuing new home permits in TCU area

The moratorium will give a committee and the City Council time to review a proposed overlay that will pare the number of permissible unrelated adults living in the same house.

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Texas AG promises appeal to gay marriage ruling


CHRIS TOMLINSON, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office was working on an appeal Thursday of a federal judge's decision to lift the state's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled a day earlier that the ban was unconstitutional. But the judge is allowing the law to remain in place to give Abbot time to appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, noting that the issue will likely end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Abbott, the leading candidate to replace Republican Gov. Rick Perry, took a conciliatory tone after the ruling. He said "there are good, well-meaning people on both sides" of the same-sex marriage debate, but he insisted that states have the right to set their own marriage laws.

He said Texas voters did just that in 2005, by passing a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

"As the lower court acknowledged today, it's an issue that will ultimately be resolved by a higher court," Abbott said, adding that Texas would begin that process by appealing to the 5th Circuit.

In his ruling, Garcia said marriage was an individual right that a voter-approved constitutional amendment couldn't deny. He said his decision was not made "in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature," but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent.

"Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," he wrote.

Garcia's ruling added to a tangled web of court rulings, state laws and legal opinions across the country that is expected to end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. There are civil rights lawsuits in 24 states asking courts to overturn bans on state gay marriage bans, and gay rights groups have won recent victories in other conservative states, including Utah and Oklahoma.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said this week that state attorneys general were not obligated to defend local laws if they believed the laws violated the U.S. Constitution. Democratic attorneys general in at least six states — Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Oregon and Nevada — have declined to defend same-sex-marriage bans that have been challenged in court by gay couples.

"It's really a dizzying pace," said Linda McClain, a constitutional law professor at Boston University.

She said most judges declaring bans unconstitutional have relied on a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that overturned much of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that it failed to recognize legal same-sex marriages. But she also noted that both sides of the debate are using that 5-4 ruling, which called the failure to recognize gay marriage demeaning to homosexuals but also reinforced the principle that states set marriage laws.

Gay rights groups across the country have filed lawsuits using the first part of the ruling. In Texas, Abbott bases his argument on the second.

The Utah case is now before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, but Texas falls under the conservative 5th Circuit based in New Orleans.

"I think it's pretty clear to see there may be multiple rulings by multiple circuits that will force this issue back to the Supreme Court," Abbott said. "We all think this is an issue that will be decided by the Supreme Court."

The two couples who brought the case in San Antonio celebrated their victory Wednesday, but acknowledged it was only a first step.

Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes filed a lawsuit arguing that Texas' ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutionally denied them the fundamental right to marry because of their sexual orientation. Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman filed a lawsuit saying Texas officials violated their rights by not recognizing their marriage conducted in a state where gay marriage is legal.

"Growing up with my mom and dad, I envied their marriage because I really didn't think I'd have something like that," Phariss said. "Reading that decision, it was the first time I realized, yes I can get married."

Another gay couple filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in Austin. In that case, two men argue that the ban discriminates against them based on their gender. That case is scheduled for a hearing later this year.

Associated Press writer Paul J. Weber contributed to this story from San Antonio.

 

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