Thursday, October 13, 2005

Trouble in Texas

Trouble in Texas: Commentary: OutRight: - Commentary - Gauge at Metro Weekly magazine - Washington DC gay/lesbian newspaper, fashion, issues, trends, shopping.: "Hardly anyone seems aware of it, but on Nov. 8, Texans will vote on an unusually far-ranging state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and anything ''similar'' to it. Since it's an off-year election, the turnout is likely to be very low. It's an excellent -- almost unique -- opportunity to make a strong showing in a state where we should be blown away. But the campaign against the amendment has been lackluster and marred by poor strategic and substantive decision making.

The proposed state constitutional amendment would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Nothing surprising there. But its second sentence goes on to prohibit the state and any of its political subdivisions (like counties and cities) from creating or recognizing any status ''identical or similar'' to marriage. That means civil unions are out, and it probably prohibits broad domestic partnership programs too. The amendment might also make enforcement of some private agreements between same-sex partners more doubtful since enforcing them might require a judge to ''recognize'' a relationship ''similar'' to marriage."


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