Government officials who perform same-sex weddings or issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples should face felony penalties, according to the Texas Republican convention platform committee. The current platform opposes same-sex marriage, but the committee adopted a change to advocate prison for those defying the law. The committee adopted the change on Wednesday, the day before the party's convention was to start. Delegates will debate the platform change during the three-day convention. Kirk Overbey, the platform committee chairman, said he does not expect many significant changes from the platform approved two years ago, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
The gay political group Log Cabin Republicans criticized the proposal. "I find it hard to imagine many people wake up in the morning anywhere in Texas and say, 'I sure do hope it ends up being a felony to perform same-sex ceremonies in Texas,' " said Chris Barron, the group's national political director. Overbey said a criminal penalty would be an important change in fighting what the party sees as behavior that hurts society. "Laws that don't have any enforcement to them, it's very hard to make it happen," he said. "[Committee members] want to put some teeth behind it."