In 2005 the State of Texas Constitution was amended in an effort to ban gay marriage and same-sex civil unions. Article 1, Section 32 of the Texas Constitution reads:
(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.
Former attorney, US Senate candidate and current candidate for Texas Attorney General Barbara Ann Radnofsky believes that subsection b may actually ban all marriage in Texas.
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.
In my view, this would be glorious news for everybody that is truly concerned about the sanctity of marriage. The government has no moral right to regulate marriage. Citizens should not have to pay the state for a license granting the right to enter into any type of contract, marriage included. We should not have to ask the state's permission to get married. The government should not be involved in marriage in any way whatsoever.
The institution of marriage has been irreversibly harmed in this country, but it's not for the reasons commonly cited by many conservatives. The state has taken what should be a sacred contract between two people - something that has historically been sanctioned by a religious authority - and made it the domain of the government.
By placing marriage (or more succinctly, the right to marry) in the domain of the law, our government has served only to perpetuate the insulting notion that the state should regulate the most personal of choices in our lives. We should deregulate marriage immediately.