As I'm sure you all know by now, Prop 2 passed in Texas by a 76%/24% vote. I, like many people, am livid but unsurprised by this.
What I find horrifingly ironic about the situation, however, is that conservative Texans have finally managed to do what they always feared that homosexuals would do: destroy marriage. If you read the text of the amendment
, specifically Section 1, subsection (b), you will note that it says that "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."
This subsection says nothing about it applying solely to homosexual unions. A valid interpretation of this, and the one that will most likely lead to its repeal, is that ALL
marriage benefits are no longer recognized by the state.
And what's so wonderful is that this amendment wasn't about preventing homosexuals from getting married to one another, not really. It was about money. There is already a state law that prohibits gay marriages from being performed in or recognized by the State of Texas, so why was the amendment necessary? Many conservative lawmakers claim that it was a preventative measure to forestall potential lawsuits that could lead the Texas Supreme Court to declare the law unconstitutional, but does anyone honestly
see the Texas Supreme Court ruling that way anytime soon? The fact of the matter is that many gay men and lesbians have managed to work around the ban by assembling the rights of marriage in an independent, piecemeal fashion: giving each other power of attorney, named each other beneficiares in life insurance policies and wills, etc. Their hard work was a labor of love intended to provide comfort and stability to their partners and their union. I suspect that many conservative lawmakers felt that these homosexual couples "cheated" by not allowing the state law to keep them from providing for each other and furthermore felt an explicit statement of ostracization was therefore necessary. So this new amendment nullifies all that hard work in a single spasm of bigotry and fear.
Of course, it also nullifies the rights of non-blood-related kin to visitation rights or state benefits. There's the distinct possibility that retiree, death and Social Security benefits paid to persons other than the original possessor are now illegal. Marriage certificates in this state have become worth exactly as much as the paper they're printed on and nothing more.
So congratulations, Texans. In your zeal to protect your definition of marriage, a definition which isn't even supported by the Bible
, you've managed to shoot yourselves in the foot. I hope that you thoroughly enjoy your Pyrrhic victory.