If passed, a Texas bill filed this week would bar state employees from being paid if they recognized, granted, or enforced marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
HB 623, filed Wednesday by Rep. Cecil Bell (R), would also prohibit employees from receiving pensions or other benefits for licensing same-sex couples and would prohibit state and local funds from being used to enforce court-ordered marriage for same-sex couples.
“State and local taxpayer funds or governmental salaries may not be used for an activity that includes the licensing or support of same-sex marriage,” the bill reads.
The bill was filed ahead of a possible ruling by a federal appeals court Friday that is hearing arguments about same-sex marriage from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Gov.-elect Greg Abbott (R), the former Texas attorney general, said in a statement in February when he appealed a court’s ruling on the state’s marriage ban that “the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that states have the authority to define and regulate marriage.”
Of the 14 states that do not allow same-sex couples to marry, Texas is the largest.