Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton: Protecting Texans from the evils of marriage equality

In his on-going efforts to be ever-vigilant in protecting defenseless straight Texans from the ravages of same-sex marriage, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that his office has filed an amicus brief “in support of states’ constitutional right to define marriage.”

In a statement released late Thursday afternoon, April 3, Paxton said his office has joined with the attorneys general 14 other states in filing the brief “urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a federal appeals court’s ruling that affirmed the states’ constitutional authority to refuse to allow same-sex marriages or recognize existing same-sex marriages performed in other states.”

Paxton’s press release did not mention that the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals — the federal appeals court which issued the decision to which he referred — is the only federal circuit court out of four that have ruled so far to uphold discriminatory laws banning marriage equality. It also did not mention that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals of the three circuit court rulings that struck down marriage bans, and only agreed to step in and hear appeals when the 6th Circuit court ruled in favor of marriage bans.

In the statement, Paxton said: “We continue to defend the sovereignty of the states and their constitutional authority to define marriage in this country. As the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has held, the states’ authority to define marriage and choose whether to officially recognize marriages performed in other states is constitutional. I urge the Supreme Court to uphold the appeals court’s ruling and strike down these blatant attempts to disregard the will of millions of citizens in Texas and dozens of other states who stood and voted for the cherished institution of marriage.”

The statement concludes by saying that Paxton “continues to actively uphold Texas law in the face of unconstitutional actions taken by Travis county judges,” referring to Paxton’s brave move in running to the Texas Supreme Court and asking the court to overturn the marriage of two Austin women, granted by a Travis County judge as an emergency measure because one of the two is battling cancer.

And although Texans in 2005 approved a state constitutional amendment banning legal recognition of same-sex marriage by a margin of about 76 percent to 24 percent, more recent polls indicate that more Texans now support marriage equality than oppose it.

In an independent survey conducted by the Texas Tech’s Earl Survey Research Lab and published in March 2014, students found that 48 percent of respondents supported marriage equality while only 47 percent opposed it.