Texas' gay marriage ban may have banned all marriages


So the people why whine about how SSM is going to destroy marriage, may have destroyed marriage in Texas. Ah, irony.

Interesting. I was married in Texas. Is this grandfathered, or should I call my (ex)wife and tell her to pack her bags?

Actually, no court would construe the law in the way Ms. Radnofsky suggests.

It’s a cardinal rule of statutory construction that laws, especially parts of the same act, must be read in pari materia – together, in harmony, giving full effect to each part. And it’s also the case that laws must be interpreted to avoid an absurd or impossible result.

With those two rules in play, we have two sentences: “Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman,” and “This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

It’s true that if you read the second line alone, one possible interpretation is that no legal status identical to marriage can be created – not even marriage itself! But when you, as you must, read it together with the earlier sentence, and harmonize it, giving full effect to each sentence, you arrive at the result undoubtedly intended by the legislature and the voters: no other legal status similar to marriage, apart from the marriage of a man and a woman, shall be recognized.

And I’m sure Ms. Radnofsky knows this too, which makes her point a political one, not a legal one.

“marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.”

Who is this one man? And who is this one woman? Do we know their names? Who gets to decide who this one man and one woman is?

I don’t know why it’s getting press now - it was noted and commented upon, and opponents put it forward as a reason to vote the amendment down. Nobody cared. It passed overwhelmingly.

Could this be used to prevent the merger (union) of two corporations?

I agree. Also suspect she’d get a world class ass-chewing if she actually tried to make her argument in Court, and might actually get sanctioned for it.

Not really. If you use marriage as an “object” to compare against, then that object must exist. It cannot be negated by the sentence that is using it as an object.

But, yeah, her argument is nothing but political bullshit.

I don’t see why this would not ban common-law marriage.

Or the recognition of heterosexual marriages from states where marriage is defined differently - such as where homosexual marriage is allowed.

Most states have already done away with common-law marriage.


It might be construed to do that, yes.

I thought they were just doing the “everything’s bigger in Texas”… including the single population!

Texas hasn’t, though (except maybe by this amendment.) It also gets rid of domestic partnerships in Travis County.


But that was its intent.

Right. The intent was to discriminate against gay couples, not against straight commonlaw married couples. But, there’s still a possibility that this would end common law marriage in Texas.

True. Given that only a minority of states recognize common-law marriage, it’s probably not an earth-shattering unforseen consequence.

I don’t see why the amendment would ban common-law marriage. Granted, common-law marriages and domestic partnerships are basically the same thing, but as long as it’s a heterosexual couple, then I don’t see how it would fail to qualify as a “marriage.”

Common-law and domestic partnerships are more accurately denoted “living in sin”, the bugaboo that was eroding the sanctity of marriage in the mid-twentieth century.