Reps. Anchia, Coleman file bill to repeal Texas’ marriage amendment

Posted on 06 Feb 2013 at 7:02pm
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A screengrab of the text of the House Joint Resolution from the Texas Legislature’s website.

Rep. Rafael Anchia

Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas

While Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, has filed a bill to repeal the marriage amendment repeatedly since it passed in 2005, we’re pretty sure this marks the first time Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, has signed on as a co-author. Here’s the full release from Equality Texas:

Reps. Rafael Anchia and Garnet Coleman File Legislation to Repeal Discriminatory Marriage Amendment

Two-thirds of Texas’ voters now support some form of legal recognition for lesbian & gay couples.

Austin, Texas (February 6, 2013) – State Representatives Rafael Anchia of Dallas (D-103) and Garnet Coleman of Houston (D-147) today filed legislation [HJR 77 and HJR 78] to repeal the constitutional amendment added to the Bill of Rights to the Texas Constitution in 2005. The amendment denies same-gender Texans in committed relationships the freedom to marry or enter into a civil union.

“In 2005, most Texans did not support any form of legal recognition for lesbian and gay couples. But, public opinion has changed greatly in the last eight years, both across the country and right here in Texas,” said Representative Coleman, who has championed a repeal in multiple legislative sessions. “Two-thirds of Texas’ voters now believe the state should allow some form of legal recognition for committed same-gender couples,” Coleman said.

Indeed, an October, 2012 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll reported that 36 percent of Texas voters surveyed would support allowing lesbian & gay couples to marry, while another 33 percent would allow civil unions but not marriage. Only 25 percent of Texas voters said that same-gender couples should neither be allowed to marry nor enter into a civil union.

“Millions of Texans have had their own very personal evolution on this issue,” said Chuck Smith, Executive Director at Equality Texas. “Texans now agree that all couples in loving and committed relationships deserve the opportunity to create stronger and more successful families. Because the Texas Constitution currently prohibits any form of recognition similar to marriage, the first step toward civil unions or marriage must be repeal of the discriminatory 2005 amendment,” Smith concluded.

“My constituents include many couples and families who are negatively impacted by the current constitutional restrictions. It is time we revisit this issue; it is time we treat all Texans with dignity and respect,” Rep. Anchia concluded.

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