UPDATE: Kelvin Bass, a spokesman for Sen. West, returned my call regarding SB 723. According to Bass: “The Senator was not aware of this bill until reading the Dallas Voice article and had not yet formed an opinion but he will not be supporting the bill.” Although West’s office says he plans to vote against the bill, advocates are still urging people to contact other Democrats in the Senate and ask them to vote against the bill. Again, if no Democrats support the bill, it will die. Contact info for Senate Democrats can be found here.
ORIGINAL POST: Cristan Williams, the executive director of the Houston Transgender Center, posted a report on Twitter that Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, is planning to vote in favor of Senate Bill 723. As Instant Tea previously reported, SB 723 would remove a court-ordered change of sex from the list of documents that can be used to prove identity when obtaining a marriage license. The bill has the potential to void all opposite-sex marriage in Texas where one partner is transgender.
Williams’ information was based on a report from a Houston-area transgender advocate who called West’s office to encourage him to oppose SB 723 and was told by a staffer that the senator had received a number of calls in support of the bill and would be voting for it. West’s office has not responded to requests that he confirm or deny the report.
SB 723 was originally on the list of bills to be considered on Monday, but the Senate adjourned both Monday and today without voting on it. The bill is now expected to be considered on Wednesday.
West, whose district includes much of the Oak Lawn neighborhood, can be reached at 512-463-0123 or by e-mail at Royce.West@senate.state.tx.us.