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Texas faith leaders gather at state capitol in support of marriage equality

Faith leaders and congregation members of various churches from around the state rally on the step of the Texas Capitol steps to call for more equality for same-sex couples, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Austin, Texas.
Faith leaders and congregation members of various churches from around the state rally on the step of the Texas Capitol steps to call for more equality for same-sex couples, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Eric Gay, AP

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Following the rally, attendees filtered into the Capitol to meet with lawmakers on a variety of bills. Several, filed by Democrats, would support equality by barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in realms like public schools and insurance policies.

Dallas Rep. Eric Johnson proposed a measure that would give the Texas Workforce Commission the power to investigate claims of workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

But through other proposals, Republicans have shown that equality for LGBT Texans may be untenable for now.

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Magnolia Republican Rep. Cecil Bell’s bill, called the “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act,” has the support of 41 Republican House members. It would ban the use of taxpayer money to license same-sex marriages and ban government employees from recognizing, granting or enforcing same-sex marriage licenses.

The constitutionality of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage is currently before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Also Tuesday, a probate judge in Travis County ruled that state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, but the County Clerk declined to take any immediate action on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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