Texas’ truly stupid anti-equality proposal

Timothy Kincaid

April 27th, 2015

Representative Cecil Bell Jr., one of Texas’ good ol’ boy Republicans, has a game plan as to how the Lone Star State is going to thwart the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States on same-sex marriage.

Passed by the House State Affairs committee on April 22, the bill would prohibit Texas from using state or local funds to license or recognize same-sex marriages. Even if a court issued “an order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license,” the bill states, officials would be barred from spending any money to do so.

Now suppose that the state passes this bill and SCOTUS rules for equality, as expected. What would Bell’s bill do?

First, it would not keep things as usual in Texas. Or certainly not for long.

When confronted by an obligation to provide same-sex couples with equal access – but to do so without spending extra funds – I expect that clerks will respond differently. Some will laugh at Bell’s bill, noting that state legislation does not outrank the US Constitution.

Others, maybe most, will just shut down shop until the courts toss this nonsense. Yay, Bell, marriage for no one. That’ll show them.

And there will undoubtedly be some brave soul with little brains and lots of faith who will proudly wave their flag of bigotry and defy the courts. But this will be a violation of civil rights as determined by the US Supreme Court. Which means the active involvement of the Justice Department. And federal judges. And sanctions. And maybe even jail.

And sure Bell will “win” if winning means grandstanding, and “martyrs”, and causing a stink. And, yes, people will hate each other and dig in their heels, and life will be less comfortable for everyone.

But marriage equality is coming to Texas. And there is nothing that Cecil Bell Jr. can do to stop it.


April 27th, 2015

This state is full of idiots in the Capitol and idiots in the streets.

Sir Andrew

April 28th, 2015

I still don’t understand why Texas is still a state. They said they want to secede, and I don’t recall hearing a single person telling them no. Maybe we can get Mississippi, Alabama and Oklahoma to join Texas. We’ll keep Louisiana, but Bobby Jindal can go with the Texas boys. You know how much they love people who aren’t snow white.


April 28th, 2015

This is just another facet of the delaying tactics that the right will be using to fight against equal rights for gay people, of a piece with the “religious freedom” bills and the like. None of them will stand up in court, but it will take time to get rid of them, which is what idiots like Bell want — if nothing else, it’s great PR they can use with their base.


April 28th, 2015

Notice, of course, Bell himself won’t be facing the fines or possible jail time for refusing compliance with a Supreme Court ruling, that will fall on the civil servants. I’m sure Bell will praise them from his seat of safety. At least George Wallace had the stones to stand in the schoolhouse door himself.

enough already

April 28th, 2015

Sir Andrew raises an important point – why should we preserve this union?
I’ve reached the point at which I think we should let the ultra-far-right-fundagelical-small ‘o’ orthodox Christians take Texas and leave.
We can arrange exchange and migration agreements to protect the decent people and non-hate-driven Christians from Texas.
We can make it easy for the other Christians to depart to Texas.
It’s worth considering. And, yes, if they want to take a large swath of Dixie with them, I’ve heard worse ideas.

Priya Lynn

April 28th, 2015

This “let them secede” idea is cruel. Not everyone in a state like Texas is a right wing religionist and letting Texas create a theocracy would create a hell for the LGBT people who can’t leave. We’ve discussed this before, please stop proposing this cruel idea like it is some sort of solution.

Priya Lynn

April 28th, 2015

You guys want to turn Texas into a Uganda for LGBT people that will always be there.

Priya Lynn

April 28th, 2015

“I still don’t understand why Texas is still a state. They said they want to secede, and I don’t recall hearing a single person telling them no”.

I guarantee there’s a great number of LGBT people in Texas telling them no. Stop making this heartless proposal.


April 28th, 2015

I guess you pro-seccesionists forget we once fought a bloody civil war to preserve the union. The bigots don’t get to take federal lands within their borders, nor suppress the rights of us citizens living their and owning property and real estate.


April 28th, 2015

I think that bill just means that they won’t charge us for the license. Free licenses in Texas for gays and lesbians! They do love us!

Priya Lynn

April 28th, 2015

“I guess you pro-seccesionists forget we once fought a bloody civil war to preserve the union. The bigots don’t get to take federal lands within their borders, nor suppress the rights of us citizens living their and owning property and real estate.”

And once Texas becomes a different country there goes the right of any Texan to move to any state in the U.S. at will, the U.S. commonly refuses to let LGBT people to move there from countries that persecute them. To hear these pro-secessionists talk there’s no LGBT people left to be persecuted in Iran or Uganda, they all emigrated to the U.S. as soon as they were born.

God I wish people would stop this knee-jerk “let them secede” nonsense. Put some thought into it people, don’t let your hatred of anti-gay people in Texas blind you to the harm you’d do to LGBT people there in your eagerness to hurt those anti-gay religious people.

Rob in San Diego

April 28th, 2015

@ Priya & Sharon, yes we should let them secede. Looking back at the history of the United States we should of just let them leave the Union and not have a Civil War. An intelligent Vulcan once said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.” You say that once they secede people can’t go across their boarders. Well we can either sacrifice our LGBT brothers and sisters and keep them in their newly created countries, or we allow them to come to our more friendly states and become new American citizens.

I’m sick and tired of some of you forcing the rest of us to be tortured by these bigots, or allowing Southern people to become president of our great nation. I’m sorry if SOME of you live in these southern states, but we must sacrifice you from our tolerant Union on states to form a better Union. LGBT people should not be living in these states in the first place.

Eric Payne

April 29th, 2015

The economic impact of the secession of any state would be huge; if Texas were to say “Okay, I think I’m gonna take my ball and go home,” the results could be more devastating than the Great Depression.

Fist off, think of the United States’ Armed Forces investment in Texas. There are 31 bases in Texas, representing the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. Does a newly formed government of the nation of Texas automatically assume, oh, payroll for the people who work on these bases… or do they become imprisoned enemy combatants, as secession is seen as an immediate Act of war? And what of the equipment and ordnance?

Another aspect that exists now, which didn’t exists in 1860 — what of businesses who don’t consider Texas to be “home, but have locations in the state? Are McDonalds’ or Staples now subject to international trade agreements? Can they simply cut their employees pay to a sub-minimal wage? Can oil companies, lacking international trade agreements with the US simply raise prices on their crude… to whatever they want? In new oil fields, will they ignore EPA guidelines?

How much will the poverty level increase, with the absence of SNAP and other programs? Without the ACA or new Medicaid assistance, what happens with the under- or uninsured in re: basic healthcare?

Who pays to re-work infrastructure to ensure the nation of Texas doesn’t continue to draw upon the resources of the United States’ power grid or water supply?

Today, all states are intertwined in a way that would have given Abraham Lincoln more scares than a Stephen King novel.

Tom in Lazybrook

April 29th, 2015

Back to the OP…What would happen is that the courts would have to force the state of Texas to act. But there might be a ‘crazy time’ like in Alabama currently, where no one can get a marriage license in many places. I suggest that if this goes through, that a literal mountain of lawsuits be filed in as many jurisdictions as possible and as many different plaintiffs as possible with different lawyers. That would rack up quite a legal bill when they lose this on civil rights grounds.

Tom in Lazybrook

April 29th, 2015

@ Eric,

I’m a Texan. Here’s how that would play out.

1) Many counties would simply secede from Texas. Harris(Houston), Galveston would be the first two. Travis (Austin), Bexar (San Antonio), and the entire Rio Grande Valley would follow in short order. So would El Paso. Dallas and Tarrant (Fort Worth) would do so as well. My guess is that many other suburban counties, including Cecil Bell’s Montgomery County would have no choice but to stay with their urban center. Even conservative counties would feel the need to stay, such as the area around Fort Hood/Kileen.

2) But assuming, for argument’s sake, that the whole state seceded. The power grid would be no problem – Texas has a power grid that is largely unconnected to the rest of the state. Water probably wouldn’t be much of an issue either. That would be the good news for Texas. The rest would be a disaster. Millions would move out. All at once. I’d be one of them. Businesses would up and move, immediately. Lots of them. The state’s economy would contract by about 30 percent. Texas does have some levers, such as refining capacity and gas pipelines that they could employ to try and impact US policy, but those would be rebuilt elsewhere. And Texas wouldn’t have a bond history as a nation, and would have serious trouble borrowing funds at a cheap rate.

In short, it isn’t going to happen. Because it literally can’t work.

Mark F.

April 30th, 2015

Just wondering: How would you feel about secession if Texas was ultra-liberal and the U.S. Government was nutty conservative?

In any case, there is not anywhere near enough support for this proposal for it to be worth much thought.

Priya Lynn

April 30th, 2015

Rob said “LGBT people should not be living in these states in the first place…I’m sick and tired of some of you forcing the rest of us to be tortured by these bigots”.

That’s stupid Rob. LGBT people exist in all societies and new ones will always be born in every society. It is simply impossible for there to be no LGBT people in any anti-gay country. Maybe the U.S. without Texas would let LGBT people from Texas in and maybe it wouldn’t. At this point in time it already turns away most LGBT people seeking to immigrate from countries where they are persecuted, there’s no reason to believe if Texas and anti-gay states seceded that the U.S. would change that.

And even if the U.S. did freely accept LGBT people from a seceded state there would always be LGBT children being abused in Texas who can’t leave and LGBT adults who can’t afford to leave or are unable to leave for other reasons. By allowing Texas to secede and create an anti-gay theocracy you’d be condemning many, many LGBT people to a living hell – there’s no way around that.

Rob, if Texas or other anti-gay states secede it will mean LGBT people getting abused there, it is simply impossible to for there to be no LGBT people to be living in anti-gay states. It is YOU who would be forcing LGBT people to be tortured by bigots by allowing Texas to secede and abuse the LGBT people who will always live there regardless of what steps you might take to get them out.

Mark said “How would you feel about secession if Texas was ultra-liberal and the U.S. Government was nutty conservative?”.

I’d be all for it in that case. Either way, the goal is to see that the maximum number of people live in a good society. Of course we’d still seek international pressure to change the nutty conservative U.S. in that case.

Priya Lynn

April 30th, 2015

Rob said ” An intelligent Vulcan once said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.” “.

I can’t imagine what you’re getting at here. I can’t imagine any situation in which the needs of the many require the oppression of the LGBT minority.

Ben M

April 30th, 2015

I believe Texas has more LGBT people than any state but California.


May 1st, 2015

Texas politician suggests Baltimore riots caused by same-sex marriages.



May 1st, 2015

Cecil Bell, Jr. has nothing to lose.

Does he have connections with a bunch of lawyers who would be paid highly for defending this indefensible law?


May 4th, 2015

Missouri has a bill in the works that is very similar to the one in TX.

Part of the craziness is real, part is to stake a claim on “morality”. If the politicians had to compete on their record of practical accomplishments (filling potholes, dealing with health care and education, and so on), they would be in trouble. Teh gayz is their excuse for not doing a d… thing.


May 5th, 2015

I tried to find a breakout of Texas party affiliation. Google told me there are just over 14 million registered voters and over 18 million people eligible to vote but I could not find the slights hint at how many are Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

My idea would be for Dems and independents to switch to Republican. If they really are not in favor of the crap being dished out by the Uglies, they get rid of them in the primaries.

Some photographer is sure to get Louie Gopher’s mug when he finds out he’s been primaries out of office. It would be priceless.

Same could probably work in all of the other Repugly states like Wisconsin where they have been busy disenfranchising the electorate.

enough already

May 5th, 2015

Oh, for pete’s sake.
First of all – the most that might happen were Texass to secede would be for a few of the other failed states to decide they should go, too.
Not one single state, not one of the other 49 would lift a finger to stop them from leaving.
Help them pack their bags, yes. Stop them, much less declare war?
As for the rest, generous treaties between the (now) two countries would solve the human rights’ problem. In exchange for letting LGBT people leave, and taking in the hate-driven Christians from the Forty-Nine United States of America, Texass would receive certain valuable considerations.

It could be worked out and it could be done.

As for the LGBT people trapped their by their circumstances – much as my husband and I took care of elderly parents who didn’t want to leave the Deep South for many, many years – we could work out exchanges. Again, it’d doable. They don’t get to murder gays and our transgender brothers and sisters, we protect their southern border – just one possibility which they most definitely will need once all our military has been withdrawn.

Shannon Spencer Fox

May 6th, 2015

enough already wrote:

As for the LGBT people trapped their by their circumstances – much as my husband and I took care of elderly parents who didn’t want to leave the Deep South for many, many years – we could work out exchanges. Again, it’d doable.

By ‘exchanges’, do you mean arranging for comparable employement and housing for any LGBT person wanting to flee the newfound country, including moving expenses? Because I imagine a lot of people, myself and my SO included, can’t just abandon our jobs and houses (with a mortgage, of course) on a whim.

Mind you, it’s a moot point, since the idea is as dead as the potential of this bill, or anyone but Jeb Bush or Scott Walker’s presidential hopes, but still.

Priya Lynn

May 6th, 2015

“As for the LGBT people trapped their by their circumstances – much as my husband and I took care of elderly parents who didn’t want to leave the Deep South for many, many years – we could work out exchanges. Again, it’d doable.”.

Those “exchanges” would leave LGBTs in Texas to be tortured for years until the “exchange” could be made. Particularly for LGBT teenagers who would be forced to stay with their parents until at least 18 and probably a number of years afterward until they could afford to leave. You of all people should get why succession would be a bad idea for LGBT people in Texas. You often complain bitterly about the extreme abuse you endured as a teenager at the hands of religious fanatics. It simply boggles my mind that you like the idea of a Texas succeeding, turning into a theocracy, and seeing thousands of LGBT teenagers abused in the same way you were.

And once again the “generous treaties” between the two contries is just absurd pie in the sky. If the two countries are so culturally different it tears them apart there won’t be much goodwill between them and their won’t be any “generous treaties”. Wake up and smell the coffee – the U.S. doesn’t have any “generous treaties” with Uganda, or Saudi Arabia that allows LGBT people in those countries to come to the U.S. as refugeees from abuse. The U.S. doesn’t as a matter of course accept people as immigrants solely because they are abused in other countries. The LGBT people in those countries have to prove they were persecuted and prove they are gay and can rarely meet that burden because they hid every aspect of their being gay in those countries in order to survive. Its a rare thing for an LGBT person from a hostile country to get accepted into the United States, the vast majority of them are trapped in their countries of origin.

Theocracies often make it extremely difficult for citizens to go live in another country and many of them prefer to try to force their LGBT citizens to submit to their theocratic will rather than let them leave. The idea that your going to let Texas succeed and accept all the religious fanatics that want to move there and then it will with certainty be happy to let LGBT people leave at will is one of the dumbest things you could assert. Take a look at some theocracies around the world, see how the religious fanatics run them, and see how the LGBT people fair there.

When you can point to one existing relgious theocracy where large numbers of LGBT people aren’t victims of extreme abuse and are free to leave whenever they want to then you can claim its possible Texas might do that, but it certainly wouldn’t be a certainty that “generous treaties” will exist between the two countries. But of course there aren’t any such existing theocracies because what you’re proposing “would” happen is utterly absurd and I’m simply stunned you can’t see the painfully obvious.

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