Legislation that would literally defund same-sex marriage in Texas was not brought up before the midnight deadline Thursday, but activists should not relax yet - here's why, and why the man behind it is so dangerous.
A bill sponsored by Texas State Rep. Cecil Bell that would make an end run around a positive Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage is all but dead, for now. The legislation, HB 4105, along with about 200 other bills, ran out of time in the Texas House as the clock struck midnight and no new bills could be taken up for debate for a vote.
HB 4105 would have literally defunded same-sex marriage in the Lone Star State, denying any taxpayer dollars to facilitate the issuance or recording of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and fining clerks who broke the law.
Equality supporters shouldn't rest quite yet.
"From my perspective, no bill is dead as long as there are are other bills in front. You just have to find something that's germane," Bell told the Texas Tribune late Thursday night. "The session still moves on."
Indeed it does. Bell can move to attach HB 4105 as an amendment to another bill the House votes on over the next two weeks before the session ends.
It's vital to know that Bell is no lone ranger in his quest to demonize and oppress LGBT people.
Alexa Ura, reporter for the Texas Tribune, caught Bell in conversation with Dr. Steve Hotze last night in the hallways of the Texas House, talking about HB 4105.
â€” Alexa Ura (@alexazura) May 14, 2015
Dr. Hotze is a decades-long anti-gay activist who says equality would give gay people "a free hand to come and have relations with a minor, molest a child."
"Once you allow them acceptability, then you allow them to proliferate," Hotze told the Third Coast magazine in 1982, as Mother Jones reported last year. "And they proliferate by one means, and one means only, and that's recruiting. And they recruit the weak. They recruit children or young people in their formative years."
Those opinions haven't "evolved" over the decades - and he's still actively working to destroy the LGBT community:
Gay marriage opponents, incl Dr. Steve hotze w/ conservative repubs of tx, gather at scotus to "restrain the judges" pic.twitter.com/qLYHTjpmL8
â€” KarinaKling (@KarinaKling) April 27, 2015
As Carlos Maza at Media Matters reported last year also, "Hotze held a 'Marriage Battle Plan' conference call with supporters, aimed at laying out a 'battle plan' for combating 'pro-homosexual rhetoric and propaganda' in federal courts."
"During the call, Hotze warned that "perverted and deviant" homosexuals were attempting to overturn laws against pedophilia in order to recruit young boys into homosexuality," Maza wrote.
Hotze warned that, if same-sex marriage were recognized in Texas, children would be taught how to be gay.
Hotze repeated the myth that gay people have lifespans "20 to 30 years shorter than the average person," calling homosexuality "an unhealthy lifestyle" that "needs to be stopped."
For now, LGBT people in Texas can breathe a sigh of relief, but Texas lawmakers are fully supported by virulently anti-gay Governor Greg Abbott:
â€” Cecil Bell Jr (@CBellJr) May 14, 2015
And fully supported by virulently anti-gay Attorney General Ken Paxton, who refuses to say if Texas will abide by the Supreme Court ruling. They have been trying to pass two dozen anti-gay bill this session, and they haven't run out of time quite yet.
Image: Screenshot via Agendawise/YouTube
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