Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Be Careful What You Ask For . . . .

It appears members of the GLBT community in Texas will be enjoying a bit of schadenfreude in the near future.

You're gonna love this one, gang, via McClatchy today:

Texas' gay marriage ban may have banned all marriages
Dave Montgomery | Fort Worth Star-Telegram
| November 18, 2009

AUSTIN — Texans: Are you really married?

Maybe not.

Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state.

The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the troublemaking 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.

She calls it a "massive mistake" and blames the current attorney general, Republican Greg Abbott, for allowing the language to become part of the Texas Constitution. Radnofsky called on Abbott to acknowledge the wording as an error and consider an apology. She also said that another constitutional amendment may be necessary to reverse the problem.


Radnofsky, the Democratic nominee in the Senate race against Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2006, said she voted against the amendment but didn’t realize the legal implications until she began poring over the Texas Constitution to prepare for the attorney general’s race. She said she holds Abbott and his office responsible for not catching an "error of massive proportions."

"Whoever vetted the language in B must have been asleep at the wheel," she said.

Was I right?

Do you love it?

Thought you would . . . .


MSEH said...


Vancouver Isle Doug said...

Oh my, this is really funny! SO glad to be where I am.