A Texas Republican lawmaker’s bill literally defunds same-sex marriageÂ â€“ and punishes state employees who follow the law.
State legislatures are often called the laboratoriesÂ of democracy. Some experiments, like Massachusetts’ health care system that provided a template for Obamacare, are good ideas and become successful. Others are not.
Take, for instance, “An Act relating to the funding, issuing, and litigation of certain marriage licenses,” also known as HB 623,Â the Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act, filed by Republican state representative of Texas, Cecil Bell.
â€œTexas is a sovereign state and our citizens have the right to define marriage,” Rep. Bell said in a statement. “We as Texans voted in 2005 toÂ define marriage as being solely between a man and a woman. In Texas marriage is sacred and traditional families are recognized as the fabric of our society.”
By some count, Texas has the 11th-highestÂ divorce rate in the nation.
Rep. Bell’s bill, if passed by its majority-Republican legislature and signed into law by its anti-gay Republican governor, is literally designed to defund same-sex marriage in the Lone Star State.
“Taxes or public funds may not be utilized to enforce a court order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license,” one section reads.Â
It also mandates that “State or local taxpayer funds or governmental salaries may not be used for an activity that includes the licensing or support of same-sex marriage.”
On top of defunding “certain” marriages,Â the bill would penalize state employees â€“Â clerksÂ â€“ who follow the law regarding same-sex marriage. Texas currently is defending its ban on same-sex couples marrying, but given the current trend, it’s hard to imagine that ban will last forever. When it falls and same-sex marriage is legal in Texas, clerks who issue marriage licenses, as the law would require, would “not continue to receive a salary, pension, or other employee benefit at the expense of the taxpayers of this State.”
The bill point-blank states a “state or local governmental employee officially may not recognize, grant, or enforce a same-sex marriage license,” despite what the U.S. Constitution might suggest, if, for instance, the Supreme Court were to rule on same-sex marriage.
Unfortunately for Rep. Bell and his limited understanding of the Constitution, he foresaw that likely outcome, and included a Â provision to address it.
“The State is not subject to suit in law or equity pursuant to the eleventh amendment of the United States Constitution for complying with the provisions of this section, regardless of a contrary federal court ruling.”
That might appeal to the Tea Party base, but any court of law worth its salt would, after laughing hysterically, deem it unconstitutional and strike it down.Â
â€œWhen I was elected, I made a promise to my constituents to fight to protect our traditional values and to stand strong in the defense of our constitutional rights as Texans and Americans,â€ Bell says. Just not allÂ Texans and Americans.
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Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”
Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.
“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theory” repeatedly, and used the term “invasion” repeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.
“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick repeatedly says the state’s declaration of an “invasion” of migrants means they can “put hands on people and send them back.”
He then says “we’re being attacked just like we were on Pearl Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/kmcPakR43Z
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2022
7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies
Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.
Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.
Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.
“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”
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