All Texas Marriages Are Void, Maybe

Texas may not “recognise any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

So reads the state’s 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriage.

A Democratic candidate for Texas attorney general, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, is calling the language in the amendment a “massive mistake” that “eliminates marriage in Texas.”

She blames the state’s current AG, Greg Abbott, for allowing it to happen, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Radnofsky admitted there will not be an overnight end to marriage in Texas, but thinks it could result in unnecessary lawsuits that “good lawyering” would have avoided.  Radnofsky is no slouch in the “good lawyering” department — she had a 26-year career at Vinson & Elkins, one of the state’s most heralded firms.

She wants Abbott to admit the error.

Abbott’s spokesman says the marriage statute is “entirely constitutional.” 

Not surprisingly, a woman the Star-Telegram calls a “conservative leader” who helped draft the amendment calls the argument “silly.”  She told the paper the clause was written to be broad enough to prevent any arrangement that would allow gay couples to have recognised relationship similar to marriage.

While it is indeed unlikely everyone who got married in Texas will immediately consider themselves no longer of the institution, the language is pretty amusing.  It is also surprising that in the hours and hours of discussion that went into the widely approved amendment, no one pointed this out.  Or maybe no one listened to the people who did.

We got married in Texas, so now we’re just wondering if we have to return the silverware.  We would also like to state first, right here and for the record, that we get to keep the dog. 

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