For the second time in as many weeks, a Texas Senate panel has voted to advance a pro-LGBT bill.
The Senate Committee on Criminal Justice voted 5-0 today to advance SB 538, by Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, which would repeal the state’s unconstitutional “homosexual conduct” law. Equality Texas reports:
“SB 538 is the first legislation ever filed in the Texas Senate to repeal the unenforceable §21.06 of the Penal Code. Identical legislation has been filed in the Texas House this session [HB 1701 by Farrar and HB 3232 by Coleman] and in every session since the Lawrence v. Texas decision.
“Today’s action is the first time the repeal legislation has ever been advanced by a Texas legislative committee subsequent to Lawrence v. Texas.”
Three Democrats and two Republicans voted to advance the bill. One of the two Republicans was Sen. John Carona of Dallas, who told Instant Tea he would support the measure on Monday.
Although the “homosexual conduct” law isn’t legally enforceable, it has remained on the books for a full decade since it was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. Read more about efforts to repeal the law here.
The bill now moves to the full Senate.