Texas same-sex marriage opponents call for ‘Biblical marriage’ in rally at state capitol

Marriage equality opponents rally outside the Texas state capitol in Austin on Monday, March 23, 2015. Twitter

Marriage equality opponents rally outside the Texas state capitol in Austin on Monday, March 23, 2015.Twitter

Marriage equality opponents rally outside the Texas state capitol in Austin on Monday, March 23, 2015.

AUSTIN, Texas — About 250 people gathered Monday afternoon at the Texas Capitol to rally in support of what they call “Biblical marriage” – a union between a man and a woman – at an event headlined by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Moore, a staunch gay marriage opponent, instructed Alabama’s state probate judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples despite a federal ruling that Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Texas has a similar ban that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2005.

Moore encouraged lawmakers in attendance, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, to stand up to the federal government. State courts have equal authority, he said.

“No court has authority to redefine what God proposed in Genesis,” Moore said, adding that the Bible defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

After the rally, Moore told a reporter for The Associated Press that he was in Austin to teach the law.

“I’m teaching that federal courts have no authority in this area,” he said.

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The crowd, many of whom carried signs stating “I support Biblical marriage,” was mostly cordial. Several attendees got into arguments after the rally with gay marriage advocates.

Support was strong among attendees for the Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act, a bill by Rep. Cecil Bell Jr., R-Magnolia.

The proposal – scheduled for a hearing Wednesday – would prohibit state and local government employees from having to recognize or grant a marriage license “that violates a personal religious belief.”

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