HJR6, the bill that would make gay marriage Double Secret Illegal via a constitutional amendment, passed out of the House today by a 101-26 vote. As this was a vote on a proposed Constitutional amendment, the magic number was 100, as in 100 votes to pass. With every Republican but Martha Wong (who did not vote) casting an Aye plus three Republicans absent, that means it took 17 Democrats to take this disgusting thing one step closer to reality. Eighteen of them shamefully stepped up. Here are the bad guys:
Rep. Robert Cook, D-Eagle Lake – Yes
Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston – Yes
Rep. Juan Escobar, D-Kingsville – Yes
Rep. David Farabee, D-Wichita Falls – Yes
Rep. Stephen Frost, D-Atlanta – Yes
Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles, D-Alice – Yes
Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City – Yes
Rep. Mark Homer, D-Paris – Yes
Rep. Chuck Hopson, D-Jacksonville – Yes
Rep. Tracy King, D-Batesville – Yes
Rep. Pete Laney, D-Hale Center – Yes
Rep. Jim McReynolds, D-Lufkin – Yes
Rep. Dora Olivo, D-Rosenburg – Yes
Rep. Joseph Pickett, D-El Paso – Yes
Rep. Inocente Quintanilla, D-Tornillo – Yes
Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo – Yes
Rep. Allan Ritter, D-Nederland – Yes
Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs – Yes
UPDATE: Ignore the paragraph above. If there is a referendum on this stupid resolution, it will be this year. Thanks to Karl-T and Bobby in the comments for the correction.
How bad is this thing? Let's count the ways:
The measure would change the Texas Constitution's Bill of Rights to define marriage as "a union between one man and one woman." Fourteen states have similar constitutional bans.
Mr. Chisum's measure would also prevent the state or any city or county from creating or recognizing "any legal status identical or similar to marriage." He called that a pre-emptive strike against any future Legislature allowing civil unions, which afford all the legal benefits of marriage for same-sex couples.
Earlier in the session, Mr. Chisum was warned by House Republicans to abandon a section of his bill that he said addressed civil unions. Some GOP attorneys had said the language in that section could have banned common-law marriages, domestic-partner benefits, power-of-attorney contracts, living wills and other contracts.
The bill went to the House floor Monday as simply a definition of marriage. Mr. Chisum's proposed addition of a ban on civil unions – worded slightly differently from the version that nearly killed the whole amendment in committee – passed the House with an overwhelming majority.
The current version, Mr. Chisum and other supporters said, does not affect the contracts at issue. But Democrats, saying that the state attorney general had yet to issue an opinion on the new language, weren't so sure.
There is one minor consolation at this time:
For the ban to be incorporated in the Texas Constitution, it must next be approved by 21 of 31 senators. Chisum said no senator has agreed to sponsor the bill in the upper chamber. If approved by the Legislature, the ban must also be approved by a majority of Texas voters Nov. 8.