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Reply #85: Here's the idiot who wrote this: [View All]

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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-05 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
85. Here's the idiot who wrote this:


And btw, this thread only needs one more recommendation to be on the front page.

http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/members/dist3/... <---dude's website

Found an analysis from his office on the amendment:

Amendment No. 2 (H.J.R. No. 6)

Wording of Ballot Proposition:

The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state
consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

Analysis of Proposed Amendment:

The proposed constitutional amendment would amend Article I,
Texas Constitution, to declare that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman, and to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage. The joint resolution in which the constitutional amendment is proposed also includes a non-amendatory provision recognizing that persons may designate guardians, appoint agents, and use private contracts to adequately and properly appoint guardians and arrange rights relating to hospital visitation, property, and the entitlement to proceeds of life insurance policies, without the existence of any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

Background

Current state law prohibits the issuance of a marriage license for the marriage of persons of the same sex. Section 2.001(b), Family Code.

The Texas Legislature passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Section 6.204, Family Code, in 2003. The DOMA declares that a same-sex marriage or a civil union is contrary to the public policy of this state and is void in this state. The DOMA further prohibits the state or an agency or political subdivision of the state from giving effect to a public act, record, or judicial proceeding that creates, recognizes, or validates a same-sex marriage or a civil union or to a right or claim to any legal protection, benefi t, or responsibility asserted as a result of a same-sex marriage or a
civil union. The DOMA defi nes civil union as any relationship status other than marriage that is intended as an alternative to marriage or that
applies primarily to cohabitating persons and that grants to the parties of
the relationship legal protections, benefi ts, or responsibilities granted to
the spouses of a marriage.
The DOMA was adopted in Texas as a response to court cases and
legislative actions in a number of states on the issue of same-sex marriage
and civil unions.
One of the fi rst constitutional challenges to the prohibition of same-sex
marriage in a states marriage laws occurred in Hawaii in the 1990s. The
plaintiffs in Baehr v. Lewin, same-sex couples who were denied marriage
licenses, alleged that Hawaiis marriage laws were unconstitutional under
the equal protection clause of the Hawaii Constitution. Before the case was
fi nally decided, the Hawaii Legislature adopted a constitutional amendment
declaring that the Hawaii Legislature may reserve marriage to opposite-sex
couples. Hawaii voters approved the amendment in 1998.
In 1999, the California Legislature adopted legislation allowing
same-sex couples who meet certain eligibility criteria to register with the
state as domestic partners. Registered domestic partners in California
have rights, benefi ts, protections, responsibilities, obligations, and duties
prescribed by Californias statutes that, in most instances, are the same as
those granted to the spouses of a marriage. Other states, including Oregon,
Washington, New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island, offer domestic
partner benefi ts to certain employees but do not establish a registry of
domestic partners.
In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court, in Baker v. State, held that under
the Common Benefi ts Clause of the Vermont Constitution, the plaintiffs,
same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses, were entitled to
obtain the same benefi ts and protections afforded by Vermont law to
married opposite-sex couples. In response to the courts decision, the
Vermont Legislature created an alternative legal status to marriage for
same-sex couples, called a civil union. Under Vermont law, the parties to
a civil union are granted the same benefi ts, protections, and responsibilities
as are granted under Vermont law to the spouses of a marriage. Civil
unions became effective in Vermont in July 2000.
19
In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in Goodridge v.
Department of Public Health, considered a challenge to Massachusetts
marriage laws brought by same-sex couples who were denied marriage
licenses. The court held in that case that barring an individual from the
protections, benefi ts, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that
person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts
Constitution. In accordance with the courts decision, the state of
Massachusetts began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples
in May 2004. In response to the courts decision, the Massachusetts
Legislature in 2004 preliminarily approved a constitutional amendment
that would defi ne marriage as a union between opposite-sex couples
and establish a system of civil unions for same-sex couples with the
same benefi ts, protections, and rights as those granted to the spouses
of a marriage. If approved again by the Massachusetts Legislature,
the proposed amendment will be submitted to Massachusetts voters in
November 2006.
Same-sex marriage continues to be a rapidly developing issue in
other states and around the world. In 2005, the Connecticut Legislature
passed legislation authorizing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions
and other jurisdictions, including Canada and Spain, have passed or are
considering legislation extending marriage to include same-sex couples.
Arguments For:
1. Adoption of the proposed amendment would prevent potential
legal challenges to Texas marriage statutes. The equal protection clause
and other provisions of the Texas Constitution are similar to those in
other state constitutions and could be interpreted by courts to permit
same-sex marriage or to require the recognition of a legal status identical
or similar to marriage. Citizens of Texas, rather than the courts, should
defi ne marriage in this state. Seventeen states have added a defi nition
of traditional marriage to their constitutions, all approved by voters by
substantial margins, and President Bush has endorsed a similar amendment
to the U.S. Constitution.
20
2. The union of a man and a woman in the long-standing institution of
traditional marriage promotes the welfare of children and the stability of
society. The sanctity of marriage is fundamental to the strength of Texas
families, and the state should ensure that the institution of traditional
marriage cannot be undermined by a future court decision or statute of
the Texas Legislature.
3. The proposed amendment would not discriminate against any
person. Approval of the amendment by the voters would not prevent
same-sex couples from pursuing their lifestyles. Approval of the
amendment would only ensure that the union of same-sex couples is not
sanctioned by the state.
Arguments Against:
1. Amending the Texas Constitution is unnecessary and inappropriate.
A constitutional prohibition is unnecessary because Texas law already
prohibits same-sex marriages and prohibits the recognition by the state or
its political subdivisions of a same-sex marriage, a civil union, or a right
or claim asserted as a result of a same-sex marriage or a civil union. A
constitutional prohibition is inappropriate because it limits future state
legislators fl exibility to promote the health and safety of families in
whatever form those families may take. Evidence of societys changing
notion of what constitutes a family is seen in the decision of the United
States Supreme Court less than 40 years ago to invalidate laws banning
interracial marriage and in the greater frequency in recent years of divorce,
remarriage, and single parenthood.
2. The language in the proposed amendment prohibiting the creation
or recognition of any legal status identical or similar to marriage is
vague and goes too far. While the states DOMA statute narrowly defi nes
a civil union, the proposed amendment contains broader language that
has the potential for being interpreted to nullify common law marriages or
legal agreements, including powers of attorney and living wills, between

Oh this is getting too sloppy. Go to his website, scroll down to press room and look at the PDF file under October 7 and click on Amendment 2.



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