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Marriage Equality

Surprising No One, Texas State Senate Reaffirms Opposition to Marriage Equality

Surprising No One, Texas State Senate Reaffirms Opposition to Marriage Equality


Same-sex marriages already are prohibited by the Texas Constitution. But senators say they wanted to make a point by voting to ban gay marriage. Again.

Lest there be any doubt, the majority of state senators in Texas demonstrated their opposition to marriage equality by voting in favor of a non-binding resolution, simply to make their point.

The resolution to ban gay marriage in the state passed 21-10 in a late-night vote: every Senate Republican effectively said they support the decade-old referendum that outlawed same-sex marriage in Texas, reaffirming the state's 2005 voter-approved ban, which has subsequently been repeatedly found to be unconstitutional.

"We affirm the preservation of the present definition of marriage as being a legal union of one man and one woman as a husband and wife, and pledge to uphold and defend this principle that is so dearly held by Texans far and wide," the resolution read.

The Houston Chronicle reports State Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat, said he wanted to make sure that while some might read the resolution as a unanimous measure, there was staunch opposition to it passing the Senate.

"So is this a response to some legislation that hasn't been successful, or is more out of concern for what the U.S. Supreme Court might rule this summer?" Whitmire asked the resolution's sponsor, Republican Sen. Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills.

"Here we are again, discriminating against gay people," said state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, a Democrat representing McAllen, who has a lesbian daughter.

The vote also came as state Sen. Eddie Lucio, a conservative Democrat who opposes same-sex marriage, pulled down an obscure proposal, House Bill 2977, which had an unrelated antigay amendment tacked on that sought to block any Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. The amendment was a back-door effort to pass a failed bill that would have banned state or local governments from using public money to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he would not bring Lucio's bill to the full Senate without that provision, and that withdrawing the bill would ensure the Senate did not work until midnight or later Wednesday night.

"Sometimes you have to stand for what you believe in," Lucio said.

Patrick, a staunch opponent to marriage equality, said he was proud of the Senate for debating the issue, attacking House leadership for effectively killing several gay-related bills this session by not bringing them to a vote before key deadlines.

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