Several Texas lawmakers have proposed legislation for the next session to end the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
“Marriage strengthens families and gives couples the tools and security they need to build a life together,” said Rep. Rafael Anchia (D), sponsor of one of the bills, in a statement.
His bill, introduced Monday for the 2015 session, would revise the language of a state law that specifies that marriage is between a man and a woman, adding the phrases “man and a man” and “woman and a woman.” Another, introduced by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D), would put an amendment to the state Constitution in front of the voters in 2015.
The Texas legislature outlawed marriage for same-sex couples in 1997, and the state Constitution was amended in 2005 prohibiting it. Marriage for same-sex couples became legal in neighboring New Mexico in 2013 following a state Supreme Court ruling, and in Oklahoma in October after a U.S. Supreme Court decision not to hear it and other state’s appeals.
Texas Attorney General and Governor-elect Greg Abbott (R) said in February when a federal judge struck down the state’s ban that although “there are good, well-meaning people on both sides” of the issue, the decision should be overturned. The decision was stayed, and the 5th Circuit is scheduled to begin hearing oral arguments in January.