Candidate for attorney general claims vague language in 2005 Texas constitutional amendment "eliminates marriage in Texas"
-- From "Texas' gay marriage ban may have banned all marriages" by Dave Montgomery, Fort Worth Star-Telegram 11/18/09
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."
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.
Abbott spokesman Jerry Strickland said the attorney general stands behind the 4-year-old amendment.
[Kelly Shackelford, president of the Liberty Legal Institute in Plano,] whose organization helped draft the amendment dismissed Radnofsky’s position, saying it was similar to scare tactics opponents unsuccessfully used against the proposal in 2005.
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