The Texas Marriage Canard

The left-o-sphere has resurrected the canard that the constitution of Texas bans all marriage. This canard rests on an incomplete reading of the following section of the constitution’s bill of rights:

Sec. 32.  MARRIAGE. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.

(b)  This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

(Added Nov. 8, 2005.)

The lefties like to pull sub-section (b) out of context and claim that it stands alone. Why? Because section (b), taken out of context, can be used to scare “straights,” who might then agitate for the repeal of section 32. That would open the way for left-wing judges to decree that Texas must allow homosexual “marriage.” (Yes, there are left-wing judges in Texas, which still has a sizable Democrat minority.)

The lefties, in other words, are promoting their agenda through dishonesty. But what else is new?

Here is the correct reading of Section 32: Sub-section (a) defines marriage. Sub-section (b) spells out the implication of (a), which is to prohibit any form of “marriage” or something similar (e.g., “civil union”) that does not accord with the definition given in (a). The word “identical” in (b) should be understood to mean “equivalent,” that is, “having similar or identical effects” with respect to persons of the same sex.

Here is an analogy from mathematics:

(a) Only certain pairs of non-negative integers can be added to get the number 2, specifically: 1,1 and 0, 2.

(b) No other pair or pairs of non-negative integers can be added to get the number 2.

The framers of Section 32 might have chosen a better word than “identical,” but Section 32 clearly means what it was intended to mean: Texas recognizes no form of marriage, by any name, other than the union of one man and one woman.

End of discussion.