The Texas house of representatives on Wednesday tentatively approved legislation to ban recognition of gay and lesbian unions performed in other states. Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) coauthored the bill. He said the state has a compelling interest in protecting the institution of marriage. According to Chisum, 36 other states have enacted similar legislation. Gay rights activists have vocally opposed the measure. They said it is part of a far-right agenda to impose intolerant laws on gay and lesbian citizens. The measure already passed in the senate. Upon final approval by the house, it will go to Gov. Rick Perry. It is unknown whether Perry will sign it into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.