The amendment, approved by the Texas Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by Texas voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the trouble-making phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:
"This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."
Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships.
But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively "eliminates marriage in Texas," including common-law marriages.
In fairness, a Republican claims,
"It's a silly argument," said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Liberty Legal Institute in Plano. Any lawsuit based on the wording of Subsection B, he said, would have "about one chance in a trillion" of being successful.I don't know anything about law I don't have to know. I try to follow laws. However, all the furor over teh gayz hitchin' up, and doing their dirty things in teh bedroom, was almost certain to lead to this. When you start taking away rights of a specific group, it's pretty hard to draw sharp, clear lines regarding who is and isn't a member of the group whose rights you're taking away.
Way to go, Texas. You just settled the question: take away everyone's right to marriage.