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Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage

Texans voted to amend their state constitution yesterday to ban gay marriage. The amendment passed overwhelmingly. Texas follows 18 other states that have done the same.

Like every other state except Massachusetts, Texas didn't permit same-sex marriages previously, but the constitutional amendment was touted as an extra guard against future court rulings.

That's what this is all about. Decreasing the power of the judiciary. We are supposed to have three equal branches of Government. By abusing the constitutional amendment process, we are weakening our independent judiciary.

This is the radical right at work. They herd people like sheep into believing their evangelical brand of bigotry.

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  • Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#2)
    by BigTex on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:51 PM EST
    This amendment is more noteworthy for what was not discussed than what was discussed. People seem to miss the underlying point of this amendment. The no crowd didn't campaign hard at all, and didn't campaign much on the equal rights message. Rather they campaigned that the amendment would eliminate common law marriage, and possible all marriage as a result of the poor wording of the amendment. Also, the bill proffering the amendment had a nonamendmatory prong to it, giving homosexuals equal functional rights through contract law, something also not talked about.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:51 PM EST
    I dislike these gay marriage bans a fair amount, but I fail to understand TL's argument here. Exactly why should I value the opinion of a set of judges more than an actual vote - either direct or legislative?

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#4)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:51 PM EST
    D'oh. Sad day to be a Texan. I've got to either start voting or stop caring. But what's this "three equal branches" business? The People aren't a branch of the government, they're the ultimate source of the government's power. This isn't a case of exceeding power, it's just a case of stupid.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#1)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    Sounds like the party of "no" and the ideology of the stop sign, if you ask me.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    This is part of the conservative right agenda to dismantle the separation of church and state. According to some religious persons, homosexuality is "immoral." However, everyone agrees that violations of moral rules should have consequences. So for homosexuality to be immoral, there must be consequences: e.g., the prohibition against gay marriage. This is inconsistent with the view, espoused by some religious persons, that they harbor no ill will against "homosexuals as persons," but instead find their behavior immoral. This is despite the fact that homosexual behaviors per se violate none of the rules of common morality. Accordingly, as it is fanaticism to obey religious commands to violate a moral rule, such religious persons can fairly be termed fanatics, through their unjustified punishment of homosexuals, whom they consider engaging in immoral behavior and for whom there must be consequences -- otherwise their (unjust) charge of immorality is meaningless. The dismantling of the separation of church and state would serve, in the long run, to undermine the conservative imperative to minimize government assistance to its deprived citizens. As religion in its best sense can deepen the innate compassion of human kind, and thereby increase the general level of compassion towards the most deprived citizens of the state, the blurring of the boundary between church and state will ultimately undermine the conservative agenda. The conservative agenda to minimize the assistance that the most deprived persons can receive from the state underlies the oxymoronic slogan "compassionate consevatism." But the aim to dismantle the separation between the church and the state would tend, in the long run, to encourage the state follow the religious and moral ideal to assist its most deprived persons, contrary to the conservative agenda to minimize the assistance it provides to its deprived citizens. It would serve to force a reconsideration of the mistreatment homosexuals have received in the hands of the right-wing. And ultimately, the recognition that religion must violate neither common morality nor the laws of the state will bring with it the understanding of the necessity of the separation between church and state.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#6)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    " By abusing the constitutional amendment process, we are weakening our independent judiciary."
    You meant using, right?

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#7)
    by BigTex on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    This isn't a liberal conservative issue. Even Hawaii and Oregon have passed similar amendments. The state tally is 19-1 with Mass being the outlier (and arguably Vermont who has never taken up an amendment issue.)

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    ah texas, where men are men, and sheep are fearful. i perfectly understand this; why should the livestock have to compete with same-sex unions there? just doesn't seem fair at all to me.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    Texas has no papertrail, no audit trail, no recount rights. NO LEGAL ELECTIONS. Apparently the Diebold HAL doesn't like gays. Everything else is a guess.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#10)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    "This isn't a liberal conservative issue." Sorry, whenever someone says "I think you hellbound sodomites oughtta have no rights" I have a pretty good idea where they stand. And it ain't inside an Amnesty International store.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    Sure, and I can remember when states did not want interracial marriages or black folk drinking from the same fountains as the whitesys. So lots of states remain consistent in their belief that some folks should not have equal rights, so what else is new????

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    I oppose these bans because they are stupid and counterproductive. If your marriage is threatened by the fact that two men or two women are allowed to marry, the problem is with your marriage, not theirs. I do have trouble understanding just what TL means with the claim that this somehow weakens the judiciary. The judiciary is responsible for deciding if a law is constitutional, and what is constitutional is decided by those with the authority to write or alter the constitution (albeit with certain limitations in place on what can be done). The argument here would seem to be that by changing the Texas State Constitution, the people of Texas have denied their judges the power to decide a case based on an unspecified right. But how is this any different from any other law in Texas which the judiciary is charged with enforcing? If the real desire was merely to raise the issue of judicial appointments once again, why base it on such a weak argument? Will you next claim that judges have a constitutional right to dictate law and every law passed by the legislature is an assault on that right?

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    Texas has no papertrail, no audit trail, no recount rights. NO LEGAL ELECTIONS. No thread would be complete without it.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    I'm not buying any of this. This so-called amendment is inconsistent with the US Constitution's equal protection clause (and likely Texas' as well) and, on that basis alone, the "amendment" itself is or should be justiciable, and capable of being nullified or, at the very least, radically altered. This is NOT about sex or even religion - it is about EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW. It's quite simple.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    Who really cares? if two guys want to do each other, so what? more girls for me!.,.like i can get any?..sex is a joke and as time goes on the young will get the joke, and the guys who do each other will get the HIV.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    It appears that Texas has just passed a constitutional amendment that invalidates ALL marriages in Texas. Here is the text: (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. (b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage. What's going to happen when this amendment is challenged in the courts? Let the fun begin!

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    I fail to understand TL's argument here. Exactly why should I value the opinion of a set of judges more than an actual vote - either direct or legislative? I wanted to comment on this last night, but there was a glitch with my account. Sorry for the delay! I think the important issue is that the public cannot appreciate the legal aspects of applying the equal protection clause fairly. They are fueled by their own beliefs, not the constitutionality of them being enshrined as law. Just my 2 cents.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#18)
    by peacrevol on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    I dont know if any of you out there is familiar with the Texas constitution, but it's probably the most poorly written documents that I've ever seen. It has vague wording and renders itself almost useless as it is. This amendment is likely no different. I am from Texas and personally did not vote on this matter, because I really dont care. Both sides of the argument seem to hold good points, but I just dont really care enough to support either side. But...as for TL's claim of it weakening the judiciary, the judiciary should be trumped by the vote of the people. That's the point of a government by the people and for the people right? So...if the state of Texas collectively does not want to allow gay marriage and vote to ban it, then so be it. The people should have the final say since we are, in essence, the boss of the judiciary.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#19)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    “I think the important issue is that the public cannot appreciate the legal aspects of applying the equal protection clause fairly.”
    So perhaps we should leave such things to the enlightened judiciary and out of reach of the ignorant commoner? It’s funny how folks’ respect for the will of the voter hinges on the issue at hand. This wasn’t a simple majority; it required a supermajority in the legislature to send it to the voters (the vote was 21-8), and ~3/4 of the voters approved it. Really, I thought the idea of these kinds of amendment were to circumvent the equal protection clauses, state and federal. Wasn’t that the point of the federal constitutional amendment that has been floated? Legislatures defining marriage as between heterosexual couples ran afoul of the constitution, so the constitution must be changed to provide for a caveat to the equal protection clause. Analogous to the proposed flag burning amendment, right?

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#20)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    The Equal Protection argument might work, it might not. If the government has good enough reason (compelling interest or something like that... the technical details are beyond me) they can fudge things. Look at restrooms in public buildings -- one for men, one for women. That would seem to be a "seperate but equal" kind of illegality, but the gov has an interest in treating the sexes different in that case. Maybe marriage falls into the same fudge factor. I think it currently varies between districts.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:53 PM EST
    Gee, peacerevol, if the judiciary couldn't trump the majority casting votes on contra-Constitutional laws every now and then, white people couldn't marry black people in a whole lot of this U S of A. What a ridiculous, specious argument and willful misunderstanding of the concept of checks and balances, not to mention the democratic republic form of government!

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#22)
    by peacrevol on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:53 PM EST
    Well aquaria, if the judiciary did make a judgement on the matter, and if the system works like it is supposed to, voters would elect new judges, reps, etc to reflect their views. In a way, a direct vote on the issue cuts out the middle man, puts the power in the hands of the people, and takes the heat off of the judges, sort of. Iowa nice guy has a good point, but as roy put it, the people are the ultimate source of the govt's power. Also, I dont feel that giving a judge the power/responsibility to decide something like this for a whole state is appropriate. Of course, in Texas, chances are if it had been decided by the judiciary we would have had the same outcome. I agree that sometimes, the majority is not right, according to the US constitution. In which case, the federal courts should step in to help resolve the issue. So to me it seems that we have a checks and balances system that includes the public as a quasi policy maker. But the local govt/population should try to resolve an issue on its own first and receive help from the federal govt only when absolutely necessary. Perhaps instead of "trumped by" I should have said "made secondary to" in my comment above. I dont think "trumped" really applies here.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#23)
    by BigTex on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:53 PM EST
    Scar - the conservatives support the measure in larger measures than liberals do, however there is broad bipartisan support for defense of marriage measures. Texas is conservative, but only at most by a 60-40 split. At least a third of liberals voted for the measure. Also, if we go with this being a liberal versus conservative battle, the only conclusion is that Hawaii and Oregon, niether of which are conservative, have to be counted as conservative. The cloest a measure came was 57-43, in Oregon where liberals have the majority. This issue picks up significant bipartisan support. At least here in TX, the fear was that the full faith and credit clause of the US Constitution would force Texas to recgonize a Mass marriage or a VT civil union if the state constitution did not have a stand on the issue. DOMA already passed, this was to keep the damnyankey states from nosing in via full faith and credit. It was a protection of state rights to conduct internal affairs free of outside interference.

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#24)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:56 PM EST
    Sounds to me like the only way the haters can drum up support for anti-gay legislation is by wrapping it in the cloak of a failing institution called marriage... Can someone who wishes to legislate mandatory discrimination upon millions of Americans explain to me why gays marrying is just so gosh-darned bad? The law should read: "2-10% of Americans are OTS (other than straight). We feel they deserve less of an America than straight people. Therefore we vote to deliberately restrict the rights of these people."

    Re: Texas Voters Approve Ban on Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:59 PM EST
    If that "no paper trail" comment was applied to the Texas Proposition vote, it is incorrect as Texans had the option of electronic, or, paper ballot. As to the vote itself I convinced a few rednecks that; 1. Although this was a issue specific vote there was no way to prevent interest groups -religious or otherwise - from outlawing beer, pickup trucks, dancing, what-have-you in the future. 2. Assuming the current predjudice was because of the huge amount of child rape (homosexual variant) having same sex married couples should remove a significant number of suspects from the police watch lists. Current data strongly suggests that Homosexual rapists clearly want no part of buggery visited upon their person nor do they care to perform fellatio on others, they seem to be, strictly, personal gratification critters. Whereas the gay couple type lean heavily toward mutual gratification both physical and mental/psychological. In essence, pedophiles are different beasts altogther and IMO should be exterminated. 3a. Though the numbers do vary, 1/3 to 1/2 of ALL man/woman marraiges end in divorice. And somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of the population is estimated to be gay. b. Since, undoubtably, 'some' children of those approved religious/civily approved unions -enduring or desolved- are gay ... would the facts not stand up to some test of religious reason that this is God's own intent/purpose? On the civil side who in government should have the power to write off the civil and social rights of 10 to 15 percent of it's citizens? I say no one should weild that power. C. What is to keep the Federal gov't on one hand from, by ommission, letting conservative/religious states from writing ironbound laws criminalizing homosexuality (AGAIN) in the future? This is a reality. With the Legislative Branch now trying to control the Supreme Court by loading the Bench, legislating law to control/restrict the Judicial Branch's ability to rule on issues of LAW, and passing Laws that are written so ridiculously tight that there is no chance that they will ever be reviewed. Perfect law? 4. Cross spectrum data shows no greater sexual promiscuity between gays' and heterosexuals hmmm...? I guess that means as a species, gay or straight, we are all sluts. :) Hell! I'll bet if we tighten the laws up a little bit we could have public brandings, whippings',stonings' from sea to religiously shining sea. Tem ceaters need to be punished don't you know... With resect to the gentleman who mentioned "used" as opposed to 'abused'... Think about those rights you may or may not have willingly given up when the Patriot (sic) Act was passed. That wasn't up to the Legislature it was up to a National Referendum. All in the wording ... national interest and security...public safety... torture outside the states is not illegal...temporary, until the crisis is over... "the War Powers Act -flexible parameter version- authorizes me to to declare wars on a humbug". As I type the FBI is trying to bypass the judicial approval of its warrants altogether -read the news- and GW is giving his Veterans Day Speech trying to tie Iraq to 9/11, says we defeated the Taliban, mentioned the great funding and support for the VA system, and we won't ever quit the war on terror or leave Iraq until the job is done . All flat out lies. He swears we won't stop till we have won the war on terrorism... When is that?Afghanistan has become a forgotten war with virtually no news or pictures getting out of that country and less still reaching the U.S. (guess why?) when you basically flatten three major cities in Iraq, and every man woman and child that dies is a suspected insurgent ,or, their very deaths denied... when every one of the innocent dead has brothers, sisters, uncles, brothers, friends and they are now ANGRY at US how do we win that War? No, I don't blame our troops they are trying to stay alive but surgical(sic) strikes with 500lb, 1000lb, 2000lb bombs or parking an M-1A1 tank with a 120mm smoothbore outside a SUSPECTED insurgents house and pulling the trigger ain't getting the peace process moving. I voted for George -the 1st time- but his appointments Ashcroft, Rice, Rumsfeld, and the Iran Contra Affair Crew scared the hell out of me. This is a sick administration on it's second tour. Our country would be well advised to lame duck this puppy now and balance out the House and Senate so the crooks and idiots on both sides are to weak to destroy what's left of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and above all the Three Branches followed by the seperation of Church and State.