Texas Republicans Vow to Ignore the U.S. Constitution on Gay Marriage

Texas Republicans failed last Thursday to advance legislation that would have banned the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses, but rather than being gracious in defeat, nearly every Republican has since signed onto a letter saying they will make every effort to defy a Supreme Court ruling in favor of a right to marriage equality.

The legislation that stalled, known as HB 4105, would mandate that no public official can authorize or recognize a same-sex marriage. The legislation is designed to try to side-step the predicted marriage equality win when the Supreme Court hands down its decision Obergefell v. Hodges in June of this year by creating a de facto ban on same-sex marriage that is separate from Texas’s existing constitutional ban. The legislation would ban the state or a state employee or official from recognizing, enforcing, granting or otherwise legitimizing any marriage that is not a union between one man and one woman. The legislation also prevents any state funds from being used for those purposes.

The problem for Texas lawmakers was that in order to get this bill through the legislature before the end of this session it had to come to floor by Thursday of last week, and knowing this Democrats were able to put the brakes on the bill by “chubbing” it–while the Republicans had more than enough co-sponsors for the legislation to pass, Democratic lawmakers simply debated legislation until the Republicans had run out of time to move the bill.

With so many other pieces of legislation now in front of the marriage ban in both the state Senate and House, many Republicans have said the legislation is as good as dead.

However, still licking their wounds but not ones to be deterred, the lawmakers on Friday promptly released a letter wherein 93 of the state’s 98 Republicans signed on to a letter “affirming,” well, basically that the state GOP will do everything in their power to ignore the Supreme Court of the United States.

The letter reads:

We, the undersigned Members of the Texas House of Representatives, do hereby affirm our sworn commitment to faithfully execute the duties of the office to which we have been duly elected and to uphold the Texas Constitution and preserve the integrity of our state’s supreme governing document…

Traditional marriage is the bedrock institution of both our society and the success Texas has been blessed to experience since our admission as the 28th state within these United States of America. We, therefore, affirm the preservation of the present definition of marriage as being the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife, and pledge to uphold and defend this principle that is so dearly held by Texans far and wide.

The signers say this letter provides a “legal foundation” and “legislative support” for the same-sex marriage ban–though the letter doesn’t carry any real legislative power.

As for the anti-gay marriage bill itself, while some Republicans are saying its chances are dead in the water at least one is hoping he can revive the bill. Author of the legislation, Rep. Cecil Bell Jr., has said he will attempt to attach the legislation to a Senate bill when Senate legislation comes to the House for final approval. Bell seems leery of attaching the amendment to a non-germane bill, so whether this effort actually does get a vote might be down to whether Rep. Bell can find a suitable vehicle–and how flexible his principles on good legislative practices are, of course.

At any rate, it would be premature to count this anti-gay marriage legislation out just yet. Regardless, what these theatrics do signal is that the state Republicans are prepared to fight same-sex marriage long after the SCOTUS has had its say, meaning that unfortunately June’s ruling definitely will not be the final tussle over marriage equality, and that the state GOP is prepared to ignore anything it doesn’t like in order to uphold its narrow religious views of how people should behave, including the U.S. Constitution.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

80 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Shirley Layfield
Shirley Layfield2 years ago

This doesn't surprise me in the least, but Texas has to learn
to follow the laws of the land along with everyone else, they
can't just ignore the ones they don't approve of!

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Carole L.
Carole L2 years ago

pam w
“ Thanks to you, I've just spit tea on my desk calendar! LOVED it!”

uh oh, are we going to have to call an exorcist for you. ;)

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Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago

The right wing christian GOP is a blight on America.

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pam w.
pam w2 years ago

Carole L....". Hell, I could use the bible to argue the “evils” of eating apples."

Thanks to you, I've just spit tea on my desk calendar! LOVED it!

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Carole L.
Carole L2 years ago

Timothy W
“Carole L.
How about skyscrapers, I could argue the Bible tells us skyscrapers are against G-d's will.”

LOL, or Jesus was against drinking water as he turned it to wine. Which the radical right could use as an argument against FLOTUS saying to drink more water.

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Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell2 years ago

Equality for all!! marriage equality!

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Timothy W.
Timothy W2 years ago

Carole L.
How about skyscrapers, I could argue the Bible tells us skyscrapers are against G-d's will.

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Carole L.
Carole L2 years ago

Joe L
“Let's get one thing straight. The hatred is not Biblically inspired. The hate was already there, they just sifted through the Bible for anything they could use to justify it..... and found very little. That's why they talk about Jesus hating something he never said anything about, it's just not there, so they had to make it up.”

Quite true, they used the bible to argue for slavery, to argue against women's rights, to argue against woman working outside the home, to argue against mixed marriage (differing religions, skin tone), etc. now they're using it to deny marriage equality, reproductive rights, etc. Hell, I could use the bible to argue the “evils” of eating apples.

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey2 years ago

And anyone surprised?

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