From the inbox:
Upon the announcement [Wednesday] of a second special legislative session by Governor Rick Perry, as well as the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, State Representative Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth) today announced his intention to re-file his Marriage Equality bill from the 83rd regular Legislative Session, HB 1300.
“The Supreme Court found today that the federal government acted to ‘impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages.’ I can assure you the Texas Legislature did the same. As such, it is time to renounce our homophobic state laws and usher in marriage equality in Texas,” said Rep. Burnam.
Governor Perry announced his intention on Wednesday to call a special session to deal with all unfinished business from the first session, including the abortion bill killed by Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) in her historic filibuster. However, in the first special session, Governor Perry had also added several issues throughout the session.
“I call on Governor Perry to add marriage equality to the special session call,” said Rep. Burnam. “Clearly granting equal rights to all Texans is more urgent than imposing restrictions on women’s health and liberty based on junk science and sham medical research.”
“It is the shame of our state that we continually have to wait for a federal judge to make us do the right thing. It happened with segregated schools, segregated parks and segregated housing. Let’s not let it happen with segregated marriage rights.”
In the 83rd Legislative Session, Rep. Burnam had introduced but had failed to even get a hearing for the bill. The bill is not a constitutional amendment, but rather amends key parts of Texas state law to extend parental, property and other legal rights of marriage to same-sex couples.
Here’s HB1300. This is absolutely the right thing to do, and I salute Rep. Burnam for doing it. That said, Rick Perry will host a fundraiser for Wendy Davis before he’ll put this on the special session agenda. Democrats did a good job introducing marriage equality bills during the regular session, and I expect them to be back in a big way on this in 2015, but regardless of any Supreme Court decisions, this is unfortunately not going to happen now.