For what it’s worth, Texas voters might not have banned marriage AND civil unions in 2012

Nearly six years ago, Texas voters approved Proposition 2 — a constitutional amendment banning both same-sex marriage and civil unions — by a three-fourths majority. But if the measure appeared on the ballot in 2012, it would be “favored to receive” a majority of only 52.5 percent, according to an analysis from The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEighty blog, by statistician Nate Silver.

Texas is one of only 15 states where bans on both same-sex marriage and civil unions would still be favored to pass in 2012, Silver concludes, and the measures would be “very likely” to pass in only two states — Alabama and Mississippi. But those numbers go up for a constitutional amendment banning only same-sex marriage and not civil unions — which would pass in Texas by an estimated majority of 59.5 percent.

Of course, the problem with Texas’ constitutional amendment is that it’s already on the books. To repeal it would require a two-thirds majority of the Legislature, in addition to a simple majority of voters. Which is why most believe same-sex relationships will be recognized here only after the U.S. Supreme Court declares the amendment unconstitutional.

In related news, Mark Reed-Walkup, who recently won the right to have his same-sex marriage published under Weddings in The Dallas Morning News, has launched a Twitter handle @tx4m, based on the hashtag used in New York leading up to last month’s marriage equality vote. Reed-Walkup has also launched a Facebook page called Texans for Marriage Equality.

—  John Wright

Democratic AG candidate says constitutional amendment eliminates all marriages in Texas

Barbara Ann Radnofsky
Barbara Ann Radnofsky

You gotta love Barbara Ann Radnofsky. Why? Well, first of all, she’s basically accusing Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott of being a complete idiot.

Radnofsky, who’s running for AG as a Democrat in 2010, claims Texas’ constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, approved by voters in 2005, actually invalidates all marriages in the state because of the way one of its clauses is worded, The Star-Telegram reports today. And Radnofsky blames Abbott, a Republican who’s been a strong supporter of the amendment, for not catching the error. The clause was designed to prevent same-sex domestic partnerships and civil unions, but Radnofsky says it actually opens the door to all sorts of marriage-related legal action. Here’s the clause she’s referring to, with key words bolded:

This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

Radnofsky, who worked for a powerful Houston law firm for decades before retiring a few years ago, calls the clause a “massive mistake” that “eliminates marriage in Texas.” She blames Abbott and says he should acknowledge the error and apologize. She also says another constitutional amendment might be required to fix it. She says she voted against the amendment anyway and didn’t realize the mistake until she started closely studying the Texas Constitution in preparation for her campaign.

“You do not have to have a fancy law degree to read this and understand what it plainly says,” Radnofsky tells The S-T. “Whoever vetted the language in [clause] B must have been asleep at the wheel.”

Radnofsky is scheduled to appear at 6:30 tonight at the Tarrant County Young Democrats Gubernatorial Forum at TCU. But I don’t even need to go. She’s already got my vote.

—  John Wright