The Houston Family Law Blog

Should Texas Repeal the Same-Sex Marriage Ban?

Houston's state representative Garnet Coleman filed a joint resolution this week to repeal Texas' constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but it looks like it will be nearly impossible to overturn the gay marriage ban at this time.

According to the Dallas Voice, the resolution to repeal the same-sex marriage ban requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate. In the unlikely event that the resolution does pass through the Legislature, the amendment will still need to be approved by a simple majority of voters with a ballot initiative. Texas voters approved of the constitutional same-sex marriage ban in 2005.

Apparently Coleman has filed for a resolution to repeal the same-sex marriage ban every year since the constitutional amendment was placed on the 2005 ballot, but the resolution has unsurprisingly failed year after year. Same-sex marriage advocates are especially upset with the language of the current Texas gay marriage ban because the broadly worded amendment prohibits the state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage. This means that the state is not only prohibited from recognizing same-sex marriage, but also civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Meanwhile, the issue of same-sex marriage is sparking debate at the federal level as well. This week, President Barack Obama ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Attorney General Eric Holder released a memo, stating that the law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman violates the U.S. Constitution.

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