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Anti-gay marriage bill set for House vote on Tuesday

Here it comes.

RedEquality

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.

“This will make certain our dollars are used the way we as Texans want them used,” Bell said during an April committee hearing on HB 4105.

The bill has 78 Republican co-authors, more than half of the 150 House members.

Other provisions of HB 4105 would bar county clerks from filing a same-sex marriage license and prohibit the state’s vital statistics unit from entering gay marriages into Texas records. County clerks that issue a marriage license to a gay couple would forfeit $30 per license to the state.

See here and here for some background – those stories reference other bills with similar intent, as there were many anti-gay bills filed this session – and here for more on this particular bill. Assuming it doesn’t get knocked down by a point of order, this will pass, since there’s a majority just in co-authors. You should still call your representative and ask him or her to vote against it, because these things do matter. It’s all completely unconstitutional, of course, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cause significant harm. Someone’s got to file a lawsuit – several of them, possibly – and in the meantime people are being denied their rights. They’re on the wrong side of history and they’re out of step with public opinion, but that ain’t gonna stop them. Only losing some elections will do that. BOR has more.

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One Comment

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    It’s like the legislature asked itself, “how can we waste our time and the taxpayer’s money, all while running out the clock on doing something constructive,” and the answer was….bog down the proceedings with a bunch of meaningless b.s. like this bill.

    Hey, Lege……stop wasting our time and money and do something productive. This anti-gay bill will end up like all the others…..needing to be litigated with taxpayer money that could instead be used to buy schoolbooks or maybe fix some potholes.