State Sen. Jose Rodriguez

State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, filed companion bill SJR 29 today to repeal the state’s marriage amendment that defines marriage between a man and a woman.

State Reps. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, and Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, filed a joint resolution Monday calling for a ballot measure in November to repeal the amendment that prohibits the recognition of anything similar of identical to marriage — including civil unions.

Coleman has filed the repeal bill every session since the amendment passed in 2005, but this is the first time a Senate version has been filed.

Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith said Friday afternoon he was “elated” that Rodriguez filed the bill. Smith had been working to get another senator to file the companion bill, so having Rodriguez back the effort was a wonderful surprise.

“There continues to be this recognition that public opinion of freedom to marry is mainstream and even in the state of Texas more people will support it than won’t,” Smith said, adding that now there are Senate companion bills for both repealing the marriage amendment and banning ant-LGBT job discrimination. “That’s unprecedented on the Senate side. I think increasingly it’s sending a message that within both chambers there’s support for equality.”

Daniel Cates with GetEQUAL Texas started a petition calling for the Legislature to recognize the freedom to marry after the House bill was filed, titled “Legislature of the State of Texas: Recognize the Freedom to Marry!” So far, 502 people have signed it.

Equality Texas field organizer Daniel Williams released a legislative update video this afternoon outlining the other progress this week that includes committee assignments of three pro-equality bills.

Watch it below.