Time Runs Out On Texas Marriage Ban — Legislature Fails To Criminalize Providing Marriage Licenses
The latest Texas marriage ban attempt has fallen flat, failing to make it through the legislative process. Unfortunately, that’s not because Texas legislators have given up, but because of delaying tactics on the part of opponents, which kept the bill from making it to a vote.
The Supreme Court will soon make a determination on marriage equality, but that hasn’t stopped states from making last-ditch efforts to let the constitutents know that one group is still considered second-class citizens, with fewer basic rights. Texas is doing that right now — using the current legislative session as an opportunity for politicians to let conservative voters know who shares their prejudices, and lock in the hate-vote for the next election.
Clearly, Texas legislators believe that they need the anti-gay vote to keep their seats, because the Washington Post reports that the majority of Texas House members had signed on as co-authors of the bill — HB 4105. (A complete list of legislators who are co-authors on the bill is here.)
If the Supreme Court does decide for marriage equality, legislators say the law would have provided a tool for keeping same-sex marriage in courts, causing delays and restrictions that would make it harder for couples to get married.
Proponents of equality are considering the victory a small one, though. There are still weeks remaining in this legislative session, and there is little doubt Texas Republicans will find other ways to try to restrict the basic liberties of the state’s LGBT citizens. Equality Texas released statements from multiple gay rights supporting groups, all of which can be summed up together as an appreciation for the failure of this bill, but a call to diligence for preventing the others that are yet to see a vote.
While equality proponents would prefer to see a world where the Texas marriage ban would have been laughed out of the legislature, it’s a least a small temporary victory, as the nation waits for the larger, more secure one, that will hopefully come when the Supreme Court returns its decision next month.