Opinion Brief

Texas accidentally 'bans' straight-marriage

Did a 2005 Texas ban on gay marriage inadvertently nullify heterosexual marriages, too?

A 2005 state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions "eliminates marriage in Texas," according to Democratic attorney general candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky — who says one of the amendment's troublesome clauses effectively bans straight marriages, too. Did Texas voters inadvertently untie all their knots?

The irony is delicious:
Maybe we shouldn’t use the word "karma," says Liz Langley in AlterNet, but those of us who support gay marriage can savor the irony of this "little screw-up." It may be wishful thinking, but I still hope the people who voted for this "childish, no-I-won’t-share" legislation end up with "their 'sacred' unions treated as null-and-void, exactly as they’d like to do unto others."
"In trying to prevent gay marriage, Texas may have accidentally abolished it for everyone"

This is a political stunt:
Don’t get too excited, says Nastassia Tamari at Amarillo’s KVII News. Backers of the same-sex marriage ban are confident that Radnofsky’s "assessment is wrong," and at least one lawyer agrees that Radnofsky is reading too much into the clause, probably for political reasons—it’s hard to get press running as a Democrat in a Republican state like Texas.
"Marriage challenged in Texas constitution?"

A total ban is the right idea: "Replacing government marriages with civil unions for all," says Nathan Empsall in MyDD, thus leaving the "word and 'tradition' of marriage solely to religion," would actually be the fair thing to do—and it would be "absolutely hilarious" if Gov. Rick Perry was the one to "accidentally open that door."
"It’s illegal to get married in Texas"

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SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF THE MARRIAGE DEBATE:

How long can conservatives oppose gay marriage?
Why Maine rejected gay marriage
Is same-sex marriage a "socialist concept"?

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