Texas Considering Measures to Defy Possible Supreme Court Ruling Legalizing Gay Marriage

The Texas capitol building, crafted from pink granite, is seen in Austin, Texas September 19, 2012.
The Texas capitol building, crafted from pink granite, is seen in Austin, Texas September 19, 2012. | (Photo: Reuters/Julia Robinson)

Legislators in Texas are considering bills that would seek to enforce a ban on gay marriage even if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to declare such bans unconstitutional.

Last month, the highest court in the land heard oral arguments in an appeal to determine whether or not state-level bans on gay marriage were constitutional.

Texas representatives have introduced measures, including House Bill 4105, which would bar government funds from being used to support gay marriage.

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"State or local funds may not be used for an activity that includes the licensing or support of a same-sex marriage," reads the bill.

"A state or local governmental employee may not recognize, grant, or enforce a same-sex marriage license … State or local funds may not be used to enforce an order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license."

HB 4105 was introduced by Republican State Representative Cecil Bell and on Tuesday was put on the Texas House's "General State Calendar."

"The leap to assume that Texas moves with (a Supreme Court ruling) is just that — a leap," said Rep. Bell in a statement, as reported by Charisma News.

"History is replete with cases where Supreme Court precedent isn't immediately embraced and in some cases isn't ever embraced."

In 2005, voters in Texas approved Proposition 2, which added an amendment to the state constitution legally defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The measure had over 1.7 million votes in favor, totaling 76.25 percent of the ballots cast. Kansas voters passed a similar measure in the same year.

In February 2014, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled the Lone Star State's ban unconstitutional. An appealed was made to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and a stay on the decision granted.

On April 28, the Supreme Court heard arguments on an appeal from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding four state-level gay marriage bans.

Most experts believe that the highest court in the nation will narrowly rule that all states must allow same-sex couples to obtain a state marriage license.

Nevertheless, many Republican legislators, elected officials, and presidential hopefuls have proposed ideas to counter a potential Supreme Court ruling against the gay marriage bans. In addition to Texas' proposed legislation, another idea has been to enact an amendment overturning the Court's possible ruling.

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