Texas May Have Banned All Marriages

I know this is a trial lawyer’s wet dream, but this is just too funny. In government, we are cautioned to watch for the “unintended consequences” of new laws and ordinances.

This is quite the “unintended consequence.” Texas, in an attempt to ban same-sex marriages, may have actually made all marriages illegal.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

From McClatcheyDC.Com:

Texans: Are you really married?

Maybe not.

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.”

Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively “eliminates marriage in Texas,” including common-law marriages.

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.

“You do not have to have a fancy law degree to read this and understand what it plainly says,” said Radnofsky, who will be at Texas Christian University today as part of a five-city tour to kick off her campaign.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

I’m sorry, but this is too funny. ┬áIn their zeal to ban gay marriage, it would appear that Texas has banned all marriages with this phrase: “This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

Talk about your constitutional conundrums. Texas may actually have to amend its constitution again to recognize marriage.

Heh. Heh. Heh.