Texas already bans same-sex marriage by statute and in its state constitution. Tomorrow the Texas House will vote on triple-extra-super banning it.
House Bill 4105 would prohibit state or local tax money from being spent to “issue, enforce or recognize” a same-sex marriage. It also would ban any government employee in Texas from issuing a same-sex marriage license or recognizing such a marriage legally performed in another state. State agencies and county officials also would be barred from spending money to enforce a court order requiring gay marriage. Opponents have questioned the proposed law’s constitutionality and say its passage would allow state-sanctioned discrimination, destroying Texas’ reputation as an open and welcoming site for businesses looking to expand or relocate. The bill’s Republican author, Rep. Cecil Bell of Magnolia, has said the change is needed to counter a wave of federal court rulings that have redefined traditional marriage, leaving Texas among only 13 states where marriage is limited to opposite-sex couples.
Over half of the 150-member Texas House have signed on as co-sponsors of Bell’s bill. As Matt Baume noted in today’s installment of Marriage News Watch, should the bill be enacted it could mean that marriages would be tied up in lengthy court battles no matter how the Supreme Court rules.