The following is the Position Paper on HB 1745 which protects the Preservation of State Sovereignty and the Texas Constitution Marriage Amendment. It was presented in testimony before the Texas House State Affairs Committee on March 25, 2015.
Conservative Republicans of Texas strongly supports the purpose of HB 1745, which is the preservation of state sovereignty and marriage. Its goal is to preserve the right of Texas to operate under its Constitutional definition of marriage, Art. 1, Sec. 32, which provides that, “Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman,” notwithstanding any decision by the US Supreme Court to the contrary.
There are three main arguments as to why the Texas Constitution Marriage Amendment must be defended by passing HB 1745, (1) Natural law, (2) Divine Revelation, and (3) Legal Precedence.
Natural law teaches us that a man and a woman are always required in order for reproduction to occur. A man’s sperm and a woman’s egg are both required for reproduction of the species. This is an incontrovertible biological fact. The weight of history is on the side of those who defend marriage as consisting only of the union of one man and one woman. The foundation of all fruitful societies is the family, based upon the husband-wife marriage relationship. The family – mother, father and children – has been the natural order of human flourishing in all cultures since time in memoriam. The family is the fundamental building block for a successful society. Even the animals know this. To change this is to pervert the natural order.
Marriage is a God-ordained institution according to natural law and Biblical revelation. “For this reason shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”(Genesis 2:24). Texans are not ready to abandon the Biblical principles that inform our belief of what is right and proper for families and for an ordered society. We cite as evidence of this the overwhelming majority (76%) by which the Texas Marriage Amendment, Art. 1, Sec. 32, was adopted in 2005.
Five years later in 2010, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reasoned in In re Marriage of J.B. and H.B that “The legislature could rationally believe that it is better, other things being equal, for children to grow up with both a mother and a father. Intuition and experience suggest that a child benefits from having before his or her eyes, every day, living models of what both a man and a woman are like.”
As recently as September 2014, in a telephone survey conducted by Baselice and Associates, an overwhelming of majority of 64% of 804 randomly selected participants believed that the Texas Attorney General should vigorously defend the Texas Marriage Amendment.
Nowhere in the United States Constitution is the term ‘family’ or ‘marriage’ mentioned. Since the founding of our country the federal government has not had the authority to deal with family and marriage legal matters. Marriage and family law have always been under the sole jurisdiction of the individual states.
There has been an orchestrated effort by liberal, rogue federal jurists to assault and destroy traditional, Biblical marriage and impose their secular philosophy on society by creating new ‘rights’ out of thin air.
The Texas legislature must oppose the federal courts’ illegal attempts to usurp state sovereignty over family law matters. The Texas Legislature should nullify any rulings by any federal court, including the U.S. Supreme Court, that attempts to redefine marriage, and should instruct all state officials not to obey them under penalty of law.
The U.S. Supreme Court has no enforcement power and no power of the purse. When it acts illegally it must be opposed, not only by the states, but also by the federal executive and legislative branches of government. The doctrine of interposition must be asserted by the lesser magistrates when the higher magistrate acts tyrannically.
Please read the key points of the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court when it found the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. The Court’s argument for overturning DOMA was because historically and traditionally only state law could define marriage.
In 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the DOMA was unconstitutional for the same reason we support HB 1745. Specifically, the Court found DOMA to offend the Constitution because it represented an “unusual deviation from the usual tradition of recognizing and accepting state definitions of marriage…” (Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2693). The Court stated, “By history and tradition the definition and regulation of marriage . . . has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States” (Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2689-90).
“Consistent with this allocation of authority,” the Court continued, “the Federal Government, through our history, has deferred to state-law policy decisions with respect to domestic relations”(Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2691). The Court went on to affirm, “The State’s power in defining the marital relation is of central relevance in this case” and emphasized that states possess the “historic and essential authority to define the marital relation” (Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2692). DOMA, on the other hand, “departs from this history and tradition of reliance on state law to define marriage.”
For individual federal judges to rule a state’s marriage amendment unconstitutional is to turn the law upside down and to refuse to follow the legal precedence of the U.S. Supreme Court. These are rogue judges who should be impeached.
When the US Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, the majority of Texans were not ready to abandon their belief in the sanctity of the life of the unborn. The Texas Legislature has taken a stand for life in the way that it can now – by refusing to use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. The concept is the same with HB 1745, which would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for issuing marriage licenses contrary to Art. 1 Sec. 32 of the Texas Constitution.
HB 1745 establishes the following:
- The Secretary of State may withhold or withdraw authorization for a county clerk to issue marriage licenses or certify declarations of informal marriage if the clerk issues a marriage in violation of Texas law.
- State or local funds may not be used for an activity that includes the licensing, registering, certifying, or support of a marriage as between anyone other than one man, one woman.
- A state or local governmental employee may not recognize, grant, or enforce a marriage license or certification or declaration of informal marriage as between anyone other than one man, one woman.
- State or local funds may not be used to enforce an order requiring the issuance or recognition of a marriage license or certification or declaration of informal marriage as between anyone other than one man, one woman.
In order to preserve our state’s sovereignty over marriage and to defend the Texas Marriage Amendment, we pray that HB 1745 would receive your favorable consideration and that the members of Texas House State Affairs committee would vote for its passage.
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Please contact the House State Affairs committee member that represents your district and encourage them to support HB 1745.