Although Texans overwhelmingly voted for Proposition 2, some members of the TCU community say the result may strengthen the gay rights movement.According to The Associated Press, 76 percent of Texans voted for Proposition 2, an amendment to the Texas constitution to ban gay marriage. It is now in effect.
Bayliss Camp, an assistant professor of sociology, said other states that have passed similar laws have seen a surge in the gay rights movement, and Texas may follow suit.
“It encourages the gay and lesbian community to forge alliances with other organizations and movements,” Camp said. “They reach out to labor movements, women’s movements and even moderate faith-based communities, who are willing to speak for their cause.”
Aaron Styles, who is gay, said he knows Texas is a conservative state but hopes Proposition 2 will increase interest in the gay rights movement.
“The election really hit home, to know that things aren’t changing,” Styles, a senior music major, said. “I hope now people open their eyes and start fighting.”
Donald Jackson, professor of political science, said the only way a state constitutional amendment can be overturned is by a state vote or a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. He said how soon a case about same-sex marriage will reach the Supreme Court depends on how conservative the new justice is.
“Many states have issues with (same-sex marriage),” Jackson said. “So we could possibly see this in the Supreme Court in the next two or three years.”
Styles said he thinks the Supreme Court will not see a case about same-sex marriage in the near future.
“It’s a long, uphill battle,” Styles said.
The second paragraph of Proposition 2 outlaws civil unions. It will eventually be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Jackson said.
Jackson said outlawing civil unions can be a type of discrimination against homosexuals.
“Any time you try to block a group of people from something, it essentially creates second-class citizens,” Jackson said.
Styles said he was not surprised by the results of the election, but disappointed with the voter turnout.
“In general, there weren’t many people who voted,” Styles said. “Unfortunately, those of us against Proposition 2 had bad representation.”
Styles said it is frustrating to live in a state opposed to his lifestyle.
Corey Troxell, a junior business major, said he voted in favor of Proposition 2.
“It goes against my religious values,” Troxell said. “Marriage should be between a man and a woman.”
Seven more students, who said they voted for Proposition 2, refused to comment on their decision.