Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Don’t Mess With Texas

February 19, 2010

This state or political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

The above statement is the actual language used in a 2005 Texas Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Of course, the language used prior to this sentence was a bit more gay marriage specific, and this clause itself was supposed to be designed to make sure there were no slippery loopholes in which people could join in civil unions or domestic partnerships. Whew! Well, mission accomplished.

Funny thing is, and you don’t need me to tell you this, that the above statement is quite clear that the state of Texas will not recognize any marriage. What does that mean? Texas has figured out a way to ban marriage altogether.

As we speak, state legislators are furiously working to overturn the clause in the amendment. In the historical context of the United States, the institution of marriage isn’t something that the people are just going to want to give up, so it’s no wonder so many people are upset.

But let’s consider what else this clause means for a moment.

Texas has very effectively, at least for the time being, created true marriage equality statewide. GLBT rights activists have been working hard to get such equality by letting everyone have the opportunity to get married. Texas has thrown back the veils of concept and introduced as all to an alternative: if some of us can’t, then none of us can.

Marriage itself as an institution is a little confusing anyway. A primary tenet of the founding of this nation was the freedom of religion, and the only way to effectively do that was to separate church and state, since the influence of a particular faith in the government could conflict with the interest of another church wishing to exercise their rights. With marriage, though, religious clergy have been given the legal power to join people in lifelong partnerships recognized and enforced by the state.

But as it relates to Texas, have they not also found a way to create greater religious freedom as well? The amendment doesn’t say people can’t be joined in marriage recognized by god. It just says it won’t be recognized by the state. Therefore any and all conflicts of interest in the realm of marriage between faith-based institutions and the government are effectively severed. They can marry whoever they want now.

Maybe they should reconsider fixing this little glitch, and call it a social experiment. A world without marriage? Preposterous! Or is it? I’ve already given two examples of positives pertaining to the problem, so who’s to say there aren’t more? This could be the start of a brave new world in which government has very little power over its people, with Texas leading the way.

What a crazy world we live in, huh?