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Thursday, November 3, 2005

Will Texas Ban Straight Marriage?

Posted by on November 3 at 11:00 AM

When votes in Ohio banned gay marriage they accidentally legalized domestic violence—if a couple is unmarried, the state can’t treat them as if they are legally a couple, which did away with domestic violence statutes that covered same- and opposite-sex non-married couples. Swift move, Ohio. The law of unintended consequences is a bitch, ain’t it?

Now in Texas voters may be poised to outlaw heterosexual marriage. A Savage Love reader writes…

While it may be too late to motivate your readers in Texas to vote against Proposition 2 (the so called defense of marriage amendment to the Texas constitution) on November 8th, I thought you might like to take a look at the wording and at least get a chuckle. It seems that the morons in charge of governing the state may manage to ban ALL marriage in Texas if this passes. I’m not alone in thinking this either. Some democrats have been speaking out on this point and my wife, who is an English teacher, also agrees that they forgot some words if they truly want to ban only gay marriage. It would serve Texans right to screw their own marriages by trying to exclude one group of people. What a bunch of morons.

You can read the full text of the amendment here. The problematic language reads…

The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

Hm… the seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? If voters pass this, Texas will be banned from “recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage.ā€¯ What could be more identical to marriage than, er, marriage? Pass this law, Texas, and the state won’t be able to recognize marriage, gay or straight.

Today the Associated Press reports that backers of the gay marriage ban are angry about opponents letting voters know about this problematic provision.

Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages in Texas have a message for you: The proposition could mean trouble for marriage between a man and woman. With telephone calls, e-mails and Internet postings, gay rights activists and others opposed to Proposition 2 are spreading that idea as part of their longshot battle to derail the measure in Tuesday’s election.

The tactic has supporters of the same-sex marriage ban crying foul.

Why are the right-wingers who pushed the marriage ban so upset about this tactic? Well, besides exposing them as dopes, the supporters of gay marriage are borrowing this tactic from the right-wing playbook. Fear mongering, distortions, push-polling, whispering campaigns—that’s pure Rove, and right-wing Republicans and fundies have used it to defeat everything from a national health care plan to John McCain. Payback is a bitch, ain’t it?