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Texas lawmakers seek to repeal state’s constitutional ban on same-sex unions

Saturday, February 9, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — Three Texas lawmakers are seeking to reverse the state’s ban on same-sex marriage by repealing a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) said he wants to see smae-sex couples be allowed to marry or enter into civil unions, and his bill — co-authored by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) — aims to repeal a 2005 amendment passed by Texas voters that bans recognition of same-sex unions.

“My constituents include many couples and families who are negatively impacted by the current constitutional restrictions,” said Anchia, in a statement. “It is time we revisit this issue; it is time we treat all Texans with dignity and respect.”

Coleman cited recent polls that show sentiments have changed for a majority of Texans. Anchia, a lawyer, said he represents many couples and families who are discriminated against by the state’s Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the recognition of anything similar of identical to marriage — including civil unions.

“In 2005, most Texans did not support any form of legal recognition for lesbian and gay couples. But, public opinion has changed greatly in the last eight years, both across the country and right here in Texas,” said Coleman, who has championed a repeal in multiple legislative sessions.

“Two-thirds of Texas’ voters now believe the state should allow some form of legal recognition for committed same-gender couples,” Coleman said.

In the state Senate, Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso), filed companion bill SJR 29 to repeal the state’s marriage amendment.

The amendments would require two-thirds approval by the Republican-dominated House and Senate, which is unlikely, and approval by a majority of voters in statewide elections.

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20 more reader comments:

  1. Well whatta know!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:27pm
  2. Wait!~ Did that headline say Texas?

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:32pm
  3. As a Texan, all I can say is “WOOT!”

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:32pm
  4. We’ll see when that happens.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:32pm
  5. The problem they’re up against is that not only does the GOP not think same-gender couples should have rights, the current crop feels human beings should not have any rights, only corporations do.

    Perhaps, until such time as elected officials recognize Amendment XIV, Section 1, better known as the Equal Protection Clause, such couples should become corporations?

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:33pm
  6. texas before Indiana. I hate this state

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:34pm
  7. I’m in Texas. I support this so, so much.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:42pm
  8. Speaking as a Texan myself, it ain’t going to happen anytime soon.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:44pm
  9. Unlikely to happen.
    Sucks but true

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:46pm
  10. This might be the first political news from my home state in 5 or so years that doesn’t embarrass me.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:47pm
  11. How was it ever constitutional?.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:48pm
  12. Unfortunately, Lisa, it’s “constitutional” because it was added to the state’s constitution… much like the amendment that was passed here in Wisconsin a few years ago. It doesn’t make either amendment any less stupid or bigoted or outrageous, just gives them the veneer of legality.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:52pm
  13. I’m from texas so I hope this works! !

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2:58pm
  14. Maria..not after DOMA is overturned…

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:06pm
  15. It’s a nice gesture but doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell with the current Texas Leg.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4:02pm
  16. smae-sex…spell check ftw

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 5:05pm
  17. If Texas does pass the ban they will have finally came to their senses

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 5:40pm
  18. I expect that from Austin.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 11:10pm
  19. This is Texas we’re talking about. I support this effort with my heart, but do not believe with my soul that it will go anywhere. The southern redneck mentality will rule as usual.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 2:49am
  20. Hot damn, Texas!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 1:18pm