A federal court in San Antonio on Wednesday will hear the first arguments in a landmark case on whether gay marriage should be legalized in Texas.


  U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia's hearing on Wednesday will be limited to determining whether a lawsuit filed by two gay couples claiming a 2005 Texas Constitutional amendment restricting marriage to between one man and one woman violates the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees of equal protection under the law.


  Nicole Dimetman, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told 1200 WOAI news she is confident that the court will see it her way.


  "We are very fortunate that we live in a wonderful country that strives to be ever more inclusive every day," she said.


  The four plaintiffs, all of whom are in long standing same sex relationships, say because marriage confers tangible benefits, like tax breaks, it is a violation to prohibit gay couples from receiving those benefits just because of their sexual orientation.


  Demitman, who, along with her partner is a U.S. Air Force veteran, was legally married in Massachusetts, which allows gay marriage.  She says because Texas does not allow the practice, she had to adopt a child on her own, rather than she and her partner adopting together, which they could have done if they were married.


  "The law was passed in 2005, in the age of this issue is an eternity," she said.  "Sixteen states now welcome gay marriages."


  The federal government, following the landmark 'Windsor v. United States U.S. Supreme Court ruling last summer, just this weekend expanded marriage rights to gay couples.


  The state will fight the lawsuit, claiming that the current law does not prevent gay couples or anybody from marrying, they are just restricted to marrying a person of the opposite sex.  The state says the law 'promotes the state's interest in responsible procreation and child rearing.'


  But Dimetman's lawyers say the state does not prohibit people who cannot procreate from marrying.


  Regardless of Garcia's ruling, the losing side is certain to appeal.