May 27, 2015 at 11:21 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Anti-gay marriage bill fails in Texas legislature
Religious Freedom, gay news, Washington Blade

The Texas Senate has revived an anti-gay marriage measure. (Photo by Daniel Mayer; courtesy Wikimedia)

Legislation in the Texas Senate intended to defy a potential ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage died late Wednesday, but the chamber instead passed a non-binding resolution in opposition to gay nuptials.

State Sen. Eddie Lucio, a Texas Democrat who has the distinction of being anti-LGBT, announced on the Senate floor that a county government bill to which attached anti-gay language won’t come up for a vote before the legislative session ends on June 1.

The legislation, House Bill 2977, contained language along the lines of an anti-gay marriage bill introduced by State Rep. Cecil Bill, House Bill 4105, which would have prohibited the use of state and local funds to marriage license to a gay couple or to recognize a same-sex marriage.

Instead, the chamber passed by a vote of 21-10 Senate Resolution 1028, a non-binding measure introduced by State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) that affirmed “the present definition” of marriage in the state.

According to the Texas Tribune, the Senate passed the resolution after an emotional debate in which supporters spoke out in favor of the measures, but opponents objected to it.

State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa is quoted as suggesting Republicans were discriminating against gay people, including his own daughter.

“I’ve got a daughter who is gay,” Hinojosa reportedly said. “I still love her.”

Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), a supporter of the resolution, reportedly objected to the implication she was enabling discrimination.

“This is a resolution about marriage… I find it offensive when I’m accused for standing up for my convictions and I get accused of hate,” she’s quoted as saying.

On Tuesday, LGBT advocates sounded the alarm after Lucio included the anti-gay marriage language within a county government bill. The effort was seen as an attempt to revive the measure after the standalone version of the anti-gay marriage legislation died when it failed to pass the House by the deadline.

Another measure that might have come up in the Texas House was an anti-LGBT adoption amendment from Rep. Scott Sanford that would have allowed child welfare services to discriminate for religious reasons against LGBT people. Sanford had an opportunity to amend legislation on the House floor with his measure, but didn’t take the opportunity.

Dan Quinn, spokesperson for the pro-LGBT Texas Freedom Network, said LGBT people are in a good situation in Texas with only days remaining in the legislative session.

“So in the last 48 hours, both of the biggest anti-LGBT measures — on adoption and marriage — have been stopped,” Quinn said. “There are still a few days left to go in the session, but I feel better on this than I have all session.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Civil marriage for same sex couples is coming to Texas next month after the Supreme Court rules whether the state of Texas likes it or not. I’ve been with the man I love for ten years, yet we are legal strangers. The only way we could get benefits and protections even CLOSE to what we’d get as a married couple would be to go through an attorney. We’d need to set up power of attorney and very specific wills (even then those could be challenged by our families if one of us died, and there’s a good chance our families would win, making the whole thing pointless.). And that process cost money. A lot of money. Money we wouldn’t have to spend if we could just get married. Anyone who doesn’t see the obvious unfairness we have right now has their head in the clouds. Us getting married isn’t going to effect anyone other than US. On a side note, I find it ironic that many of those against us getting married have been divorced at least once. Hell, many of them are in relationships that aren’t even as old as OUR relationship. Ten years together, and we’ve watched friends, parents, and relatives get married, then divorced, then remarried, or bouncing from relationship to relationship. All the while, were still together….

    It’s happening people. If you don’t like it, you’ll get over it. I doubt you’ll even be thinking about it this time next year.

    • I doubt that fair-minded people will “get over” states’ rights being trampled and voters’ decisions being overturned by biased unethical judges.

      I don’t sympathize with you at all. Marriage is a cornerstone of MY culture – heterosexual culture – and now outsiders – less than 3% of the U.S. population, according to a 2014 study by the Centers for Disease Control – are trying to change it to suit themselves and then have the gall to say to those who disagree that they’re bigots and haters, and if that’s not enough, then go on to harass and threaten them and try to destroy their families and livelihoods.

      I applaud those men and women in the Texas legislature for trying, and hopefully they’ll try again. Maybe the solution is to do what we voters did in 2014 – get rid of more Democrats and elect more Republicans.

      • Nothing is been changed about your idea of marriage. Last time I checked, me having the ability to marry the person I love isnt going to stop you from marrying or continue being married to the person you love.

        Also, I find it interesting that anytime a judge rules in favor of gay rights, they are automatically a biased activist. But if they rule the other way, they’re not. Besides, this issue is something the people should never have been allowed to vote on anyway. Civil rights aren’t “voted on”. We didn’t vote on segregation, suffrage, or interracial marriage. And no, I’m not comparing the gay marriage issue with any of these things, I’m just pointing out that civil rights have ALWAYS been decided by judges. And that’s how it should be. That’s how our government works. We are not a democracy. We are a democratic republic – we don’t vote on every single issue. We have a constitution. And we have judges whose job it is to interpret that document.

        Again, you have every right to continue believing your view of “traditional marriage” (although, I find it funny that you people believe traditional marriage has always been one man and one woman. Even in the Bible that wasn’t the case.)

        We are talking about CIVIL marriage here. Not “Holy matrimony” or any other kind of religious ceremony. This is the United States. A civil marriage is a documented contract. That’s it. Should one wish to have a religious ideal tied with that contract, that is there right. But people like me don’t necessarily want or need that. We just want legal recognition. And you’re in no place to deny that of us because absolutely NOTHING is being denied to you.

        But, again, this is the United States. So you can continue holding that opinion. Fortunately, it’s an unpopular one. And civil marriage for gay couples is going to be available in all 50 states this time next month. Again, whether you like it or not. But trust me, I could care less whether or not you “get over it”. Because, unlike you, I don’t throw a fit over things that don’t affect me :)

      • Lol well that’s easy, Jacen.

        1. States don’t HAVE the right to arbitrarily restrict the rights of their citizens without satisfying the due process clause of the 5th amendment. Nothing is being trampled except ignorance.

        2. YOU have no authorities to implement discriminatory institutions just because you think they’re part of YOUR culture, any more than Islam extremists have the authority to implement sharia law. That’s the whole “freedom” and “equality” portion of America.

        In addition, marriage included LGBT as a cornerstone of culture long before YOUR culture arrived to kill it–native Americans, amongst several other civilizations, accepted LGBT unions. You have zero claim.

        3. The audacity belongs to you and yours–hijacking an institution, claiming to own it, robbing America of religious freedom while claiming you do so BECAUSE of religious freedom, and then being shocked and ‘offended’ and crying oppression when people see you as anything but philanthropists. Wrong side of history and the law, pal.

      • Just wanted to stop by and point out I was right. It was legalized. And the country hasnt crumbled. Straight couples continue to marry. And now gay couples do, too.

        I got married August 22 and it was wonderful :)

  • There’s more. There were 20+ anti-gay bills introduced in this legislative session. One was neutered, the rest killed. The so-called “Pastor Protection Act” had its language narrowed to render it redundant to the pre-existing 1st Amendment protections. The Republicans were left with only a non-binding senate resolution affirming “traditional marriage,” good for nothing other than a bit of chest beating for their rabid base.

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