A bill filed today by a freshman West Texas Republican legislator would only allow the Texas Secretary of State to issue marriage licenses to opposite sex couples.
SB 673, known as The Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act filed by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, centralizes the process of obtaining marriage licenses to a single Texas entity, the Secretary of State, according to a statement released by the legislator’s office.
“This will ensure uniformity and prevent noncompliant individuals within a county from issuing marriage licenses that do not conform to state law,” he said, citing a Travis County judge’s decision yesterday, Thursday, Feb 19, allowing the county officials to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant.
In his statement Perry also cited the need to restrict marriages to a man and a woman per Texas law.
In 2003, the Texas Legislature banned recognition of same-sex marriage. Voters in 2005 voted to enshrine marriage discrimination in the state constitution.
“Almost a decade ago the definition of marriage was democratically defined by a super-majority of Texans,” said Sen. Perry. “Yesterday, Travis County officials acted in direct conflict with the Texas Constitution. SB 673 ensures rule of law is maintained and the Texas Constitution is protected.”
A companion bill, HB 1745, was filed in the House by Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia.