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.”
The problem, according to attorney general candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky, 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.”
The 2005 amendment was aimed at banning same sex marriages. The ambiguous language of this clause may have voided the state’s power to recognize any marriage. Radnofsky goes further: “Yes, I believe the clear language of B bans all marriages. This breeds unneeded arguments, lawsuits and expense which could have been avoided by good lawyering,”
Jerry Strickland, a spokesperson for the current attorney general countered with:
“The Texas Constitution and the marriage statute are entirely constitutional,” Strickland said without commenting further on Radnofsky’s statements. “We will continue to defend both in court.”
It looks like he has the opportunity. The same sex ban on marriage has been held unconstitutional by a Dallas district judge.
The problem with a constitutional amendment is that it is a constitutional amendment. A constitution is a product of serious thought and reflection. It is drafted with careful deliberations. To amend such a document should require the same process. This article is a clear example of why a rush to judgment or an attempt to be politically correct (or incorrect) should never be part of the equation.
This amendment may be as clear as the AG says it is. It may be as clear as the candidate says it is. It may even be unclear. One thing that is clear is that it will certainly lead to unnecessary litigation. That is what happens when we tinker with a constitution, especially when the tinkering is aimed at a particular group of people.