Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Texas: Rep. Garnet Coleman Will "Kill" His Own Bill Before Allowing Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment To Pass

Texas Rep. Garnet Coleman will kill his own bill before allowing an anti-gay amendment be attached
Texas Rep. Garnet Coleman
We all were pretty sure the anti-gay bill Texas House Bill 4105, filed by state Rep. Cecil Bell, was dead in the water. The legislation would  attempt to thwart a possible SCOTUS ruling in favor of same-sex marriage by cutting off any state funds used to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples.

When Republicans in the state House couldn't get the legislation to the floor before deadline last week, it was almost a done deal. I say almost because the one sliver of a chance for the anti-gay marriage legislation to get to a vote would be if it could somehow be attached as an amendment to another bill still in play. BUT - it would have to be "germane" to the active bill.

Yesterday, state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., a Democrat who opposes same-sex marriage, attached Bell's bill to a non-controversial bill, House Bill 2977.

Now, the author of THAT bill, Rep. Garnet Coleman, says he will kill his own bill before he allows the anti-gay legislation to pass.

From the Houston Chronicle:

A Democratic state senator has dredged up anti-gay marriage legislation that advocates thought was dead this session, attaching the language to an uncontroversial county affairs bill under the noses of his fellow Democrats. While gay rights advocates decried the move, the bill's original sponsor in the House said he would never let his legislation pass with the anti-same-sex marriage language in-tact. "I'm the author of the bill. I will resolve the bill," said Rep. Garnet Coleman, D- Houston, a staunch gay marriage advocate.

House Bill 2977, as Coleman originally filed it, was an uncontroversial county affairs placeholder bill, meant to act as a vehicle for lawmakers to ensure important local issues can be passed late in the session. As the bill was headed to the Senate committee for approval this week, however, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. attached a number of other bills to Coleman's legislation, including one that would seek to block a Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage.

If the bill passes in the GOP-dominated Senate, which Coleman expects it to, it would need to return to the House, where the lower chamber's members would have to concur with the changes. Coleman said if he can't strip the anti-gay marriage off his legislation, then he would withdraw it completely. "If I can't get it off, then the bill goes to bill heaven," Coleman said. "I don't support that legislation or that language."

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