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11/18/2009

Does 'everything's bigger in Texas' rule apply to marriage ban's flaws?

by Jeremy Hooper

Without even reading it, we know that the constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships in the state of Texas is a poorly designed piece of caca. That's because we understand that state and federal constitutions are not weapons meant crush the souls of certain kinds of tax-paying citizens, and are in fact meant to protect ALL.

RadnofskyBut is the Texas ban just a little worse than all of others? And because of faulty language within the state's homo-hostile ban, are heterosexual Texans now banned from their own marriages? Perhaps, says Democratic attorney general candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky:

The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

"This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively "eliminates marriage in Texas," including common-law marriages.

She calls it a "massive mistake" and blames the current attorney general, Republican Greg Abbott, for allowing the language to become part of the Texas Constitution.
KEEP READING
: Texas marriages in legal limbo because of constitutional amendment, candidate says [Star-Telegram]

She might call it a "massive mistake." But if nobody minds, we're gonna go ahead and call it "potentially hilarious."

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Your thoughts

Irony's a bitch.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Nov 18, 2009 8:42:46 PM

And this, children, is why we don't play politics with our most sensitive and precious governing documents.

Slippery slope, indeed!

Posted by: Mike | Nov 18, 2009 9:46:50 PM

It'll never happen in a million years, but I'd LOVE for everyone in this state to have their marriages revoked. Just so I can stand there watching them howl and scream for blood at this painful injustice and remind them of all the times they told me to just calm down and shut up because being banned from marriage isn't a big deal.

Posted by: wackadoodle | Nov 18, 2009 11:34:17 PM

Oh, I know it's a pipe dream, but is it possible that straight marriage could be on a referendum in order to make it legal again? How sweet that would be.

Posted by: Ken Harvey | Nov 19, 2009 8:14:37 AM

Somebody should really sue the state next time a Texas wedding licence is given out. It should prove entertaining in my opinion.

Posted by: Mark | Nov 19, 2009 8:49:36 AM

Wisconsin has similar but slightly different wording: "A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state." Cheeseheads we may be, but at least the "... for unmarried individuals ..." qualifier creates a plausible argument that the sentence refers to civil law status other than marriage.

No so in Texas. The folks who vetted the Texas amendment were idiots. The rest of us should demand that condom use should be mandatory in Texas so they don't drag the collective IQ of the country down to zero.

Posted by: Tom Scharbach | Nov 19, 2009 12:00:20 PM

Texas courts will have no problem interpreting what was intended by the writers of this amendment and assume the people also interpreted it not to mean they were revoking their own marriages. It's funny, but meaningless.

Posted by: Bruno | Nov 19, 2009 2:01:15 PM

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