The Austin American-Statesman has a story today about legislation aimed at removing Texas’ unconstitutional sodomy ban from the books. (It makes you wonder, why doesn’t The Dallas Morning News report on stuff like this?)
Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, which outlawed gay sex, was struck down as unconstitutional eight years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the statute remains on the books, and those who want to remove it say its continued presence “creates a climate favorable to bullying, gay-bashing and hate crimes,” according to the Statesman.
Take, for example, the incident a few years back at Chico’s Tacos in El Paso, in which two gay men were threatened with sodomy charges for kissing in public. No, we’re not kidding.
Democratic State Reps. Jessica Farrar and Garnet Coleman have introduced identical bills that would remove 21.06 from the books, but the bills are almost guaranteed to go nowhere in the Republican-monopolized Legislature.
Why? Well, the real reason is that many conservative lawmakers believe sodomy should still be a crime. The Statesman fails to point out that the state GOP platform calls for the recriminalization of sodomy. But naturally these right-wing lawmakers are too chicken shit to come out and say this, so they’ve come up with another excuse: We simply don’t have enough time!
From the Statesman:
As of January, Republicans hold 101 of the 150 seats in the Texas House , a supermajority that allows them to easily control legislation. Last session, the House was almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.
The GOP domination is also reflected in the Criminal Jurisprudence committee, which would be the first to vote on Farrar’s or Coleman’s bill . A Democrat chairs the committee, but Republicans — including Wayne Christian, the most recent president of the Texas Conservative Coalition — outnumber them two-to-one.
Christian said he had not looked at the bills in detail, but that the time it would take them to go through committee probably would not be worth the outcome — especially in a session where lawmakers are wrestling with major issues like redistricting and filling a multi-billion-dollar budget hole.
So there you have it, folks. Christian doesn’t believe gays should be allowed to fill each other’s holes, so he’s claiming the Legislature is too busy filling the budget hole. Or, to phrase it another way, Christian is preoccupied with filling his own hole.
Funny how the Texas Legislature always seems to find time to TAKE AWAY people’s civil rights.