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.”