In 2005, the state of Texas adopted an amendment to its Constitution that said marriage in the state could only be between one man and one woman. The amendment also declared: “This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.” Now, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, is saying that the second section effectively “eliminates marriage in Texas”:
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.
Abbott’s spokesman Jerry Strickland replied to Radnofsky’s charge by saying, “The Texas Constitution and the marriage statute are entirely constitutional.” This isn’t the first time the reach of the second section has been questioned. Before the amendment passed, a group called Save Texas Marriage warned that a judge could potentially void all marriages in the state if the language became part of the Texas Constitution.