The Texas Senate failed to advance an anti-gay marriage bill a day after reviving it, but took a parting shot to make it clear they really, really don't want to see gay couples enjoying wedded bliss.
With the legislative clock ticking late Wednesday, the Senate dropped a bill hijacked from state Rep. Garnet Coleman to include a ban on state and local officials issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Coleman, a staunch LGBT ally, made it clear he wasn't having it and would kill his bill before seeing it pass with the anti-gay marriage amendment.
So senators switched tactics and instead passed the non-binding Senate Resolution 1028 from state Sen. Kelly Hancock (photo), a Republican from Richland Hills, condemning gay marriage. It's similar to a letter their gay marriage-hating colleagues in the House passed less than two weeks ago – and one Houston Republican Rep. Sarah Davis refused to support.
“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,” the resolution states.
“[We] affirm the preservation of the present definition of marriage as being a 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 resolution reads.
State Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat, said that despite the 21-10 vote – and support from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick – backing for the resolution was far from unanimous.
State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, said he wanted to make sure that while some might read the resolution as a unanimous measure, there was staunch opposition to it passing the Senate.
“So is this a response to some legislation that hasn't been successful, or is more out of concern for what the U.S. Supreme Court might rule this summer?” Whitmire asked the resolution's sponsor, state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills.
Houston-area Republicans that voted for the anti-gay marriage resolution include Sens. Brandon Creighton, Paul Bettencourt, Larry Taylor, Joan Huffman and Lois Kolkhorst.
Coleman thanked Sen. Eddie Lucio, a Democrat from Brownsville who added the anti-gay marriage amendment to his bill, for dropping his effort.
“Good legislation was sacrificed, but appropriately so to see this language fail,” Coleman said in a statement. “It is offensive to my constituents, it's offensive to me, and it's offensive to our constitution. As I said before, I'll gladly kill this bill to stop that language from becoming law. I thank Sen. Lucio from removing the bill from consideration,” Coleman added.
The failed amendment mirrored language from legislation from state Rep. Cecil Bell, who offered his anti-gay bill earlier in the session. Thanks to chubbing, his measure flopped.
Equality Texas celebrated the defeat of Lucio's amended legislation and condemned the Senate's resolution.
Senator Lucio pulls down #HB2977 that contained the “deny the Supreme Court” language. With that, hopefully the last of 20+ anti-LGBT bills has been killed. The resolution being debated by the Senate has no legal effect. All it will do is solidly place 20 Texas Senators on the wrong side of history.