The Texas Marriage Amendment: Policy Brief
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The essence of constitutional Bill of Rights is to reify constructs of civil and human rights into tangible privileges that can be upheld and defended. Such a purpose is evident in Texas’ Bill of Rights: “the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established”, the grounding for equality under the law (Texas Constitution, 1876, p.1). With this equality legally founded, many states are scurrying to arrest any chance that this equality extends to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through defense of marriage acts and constitutional amendments. When did this threatening rash of homosexual marriage occur to warrant such precautionary measures? Even if a separate, lesser form of marriage were provided for under such equality clauses, i.e., civil unions, there would be an insignificant rise in such from the gay community. If every self-identified homosexual sought civil unions to formalize and protect domestic partnerships, only 1.0 to 1.5 percent of the population would be rushing to the courthouse (Hertzog, 1996).