US: Texas lawmakers hope to repeal state ban on equal marriage
Lawmakers in the US state of Texas are hoping to repeal the state’s ban on equal marriage, despite strong opposition.
A constitutional amendment was made in 2005, when voted on by Texans, which excluded same-sex couples from the definition of marriage.
At every single legislative session since then, Representative Garnet Coleman, has introduced a bill seeking to have another vote on the issue. This legislative session, Coleman has a colleague in the Senate who is introducing a companion bill.
Representative Coleman said that he hoped a national evolution of US opinions on marriage equality would mean his colleagues would authorise another vote on the issue, reports UPI.
“What better time to start to repeal the ban on same-sex civil unions and marriage than the present?” he asked. “It’s not whether [the repeal] happens, it’s when it happens.”
Despite polls suggesting for the first time in 2011 that over half of Americans supported equal marriage nationally, the numbers were much lower in Texas.
The Gallup poll found that 36% of Texans supported lesbian and gay couples getting married and 33% supported civil unions.
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A report from November 2012 suggested that there has been a new, and rapid shift in support of equal marriage in the US, except in some southern states, such as Texas and several other nearby southern states which had remained opposed to the idea of same-sex marriage.
In terms of regions opposed to equal marriage, the south leads in that respect. South Atlantic and South Central states showed a majority of voters as opposed to equal marriage, where in the latter, which includes Texas, 56% of voters oppose it, versus 35% for.
Opponents to equal marriage gave opinions on the matter, saying they thought it was not a possibility for the state. The state Legislature is Republican-controlled.
Jonathan Saenz of the conservative group, Texas Values, said: “People are entitled to it if they want to have the discussion, but it is not going to happen… The numbers aren’t there in the [Texas] House or the Senate.”