Are you familiar with Molly White? The Republican from Belton, Texas, is serving her first term in the State Legislature, and it appears she already needs a lesson on how our government — particularly the U.S. Supreme Court — works.
Observers widely expect the nation's high court to finally rule on the constitutionality of gay marriage this June. Should the justices side with LGBT couples and legalize gay marriage in all 50 states, White wants to be ready. She's filed HB2555, a bill that would essentially nullify any ruling that would open up marriage to same-sex couples in Texas, according to website The New Civil Rights Movement
HB2555 allows Texas to uphold its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, regardless of any future law legalizing same-sex marriage or federal court ruling declaring any bans regarding gay unions unconstitutional. As it stands, a lower federal court in San Antonio ruled last year that a ban was unconstitutional, and more recently an Austin probate court reiterated that ruling and similar rulings from other federal courts over the past year. The probate ruling empowered a federal judge in Austin to order the Travis County Clerk to issue the state's first marriage license to a same-sex couple
, who were immediately married outside the county clerk's office.
If HB255 were to pass, the law will allow Texas to simply ignore a favorable U.S. Supreme Court ruling in regards to same-sex marriage, even though that's not how the U.S. system of checks and balances works, according to your average middle school government textbook.
Last month, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama State Supreme Court ordered state officials and judges to ignore a federal ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, claiming that they would face legal action from the governor if they were to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. The very next day the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the lower federal courts ruling to take effect, but Moore stood his ground, creating confusion among state officials, some who disobeyed Moore and began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore is now the subject of a judicial ethics complaint
filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
While White's bill mirrors Moore's stance, it is not only bill currently running its course in the state legislature that is preparing for the possibility of legal same-sex marriage in Texas. HB623, which features three authors and forty co-authors will deny pay to any judge who recognizes, grants or enforces a same-sex marriage license
. That bill is currently being taken under consideration by the House State Affair Committee. The bill is similar to one being considered in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, White also filed HB 2553
, a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to customers on religious on conscientious grounds. Because if gay marriage were to become the law of the land, she wants to make sure you don't have to sell flowers to gay couples or make all those super gay three-tiered rainbow wedding cakes for all the gay weddings sure to gay up the Lone Star State.
Update: Thursday, March 31, 2015, 2:31 p.m.
This article originally stated that White represents Benton, Texas. It has been corrected to state that she represents Belton.