The Lone Star state is known primarily for three things: steers, queers and hordes of voters who celebrate the former and loathe the latter. So, in order to subvert the gay plague sweeping America one designer manbag at a time, they decided to ban same-sex marriage. They stand for good old-fashioned traditional values, dagnabbi!. Values such as prohibiting a sector of the population from engaging in monogamous, committed relationships within a popular social institution. Makes sense.
But these cowpokes may have shot themselves in the foot, because it appears as though Texas may have inadvertently outlawed marriage for everybody, gay or straight. From Lance Bass to Larry the Cable Guy, all unions are officially recognized as null and void in the state. No holy matrimony, regardless of whichever hole you may prefer.
The concern is due to the language in the state constitutional amendment, which was passed in 2005. It states that "Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman" and " This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage". They must have thought they were pretty damn clever inserting that second clause, which seems to have been intended to preemptively forbid civil unions as well.
But, according to linguist Mark Lieberman, who blogged about the issue when the bill was passed four years ago, marriage "surely is 'a legal status identical or similar to' itself." Of course, this may be a tad nitpicky, but then again, this is codified law. Any lawyer will tell you that the wording means a lot in legal documents and the fine print carries weight.
The controversy lay relatively dormant since the bill's passage, but has come forth again as Democratic attorney general candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky has used it in her campaign. She contends that another constitutional amendment is necessary to rectify the situation and clarify the intent of the law. Radnofsky says it even applies retroactively, negating her own 27-year marriage to her husband.
And these are the same people who want to secede from us?! Hey Mexico, on behalf of the United States, I would like to officially say sorry for the Mexican-American War and the whole Alamo thing. We did annex Texas in 1845, but now we have contracted a severe case of buyer's remorse. How about you take it back, but the only snag is we keep Austin. Okay, there's another snag: you have to be the ones to build the George W. Bush Presidential Library. But then again, maybe your country could use the comic books and DVD catalog of old Hee Hawand Dukes of Hazzard episodes. Ever since Laura was downgraded to baby mama status, she wants them out of the ranch house once and for all.