Texans go to the polls Tuesday to vote on numerous issues, but the one in the spotlight is a proposed amendment to the state constitution outlawing same-sex marriages and any equivalent legal status similar to a marriage.The proposed amendment, Proposition 2, comes with a law already on the books in Texas, the Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Supporters of the law claim the proposed amendment will ensure that the definition of marriage will not meet legal challenges in the future by elevating the statute to constitutional status.
Many arguments exist both for and against the proposed amendment.
Many claim gay marriage is wrong because the institution of marriage exists for the purpose of procreation. Many claim homosexuality is a lifestyle choice that should not be legally recognized.
Should the amendment pass or fail, gay marriage would not become legal. Some proponents insist, however, that a marriage amendment is necessary to keep gay couples from gaining rights to adopt children in areas where such actions are not permitted. The amendment would also make challenges to the law much more difficult.
Opponents have a plethora of reasons the proposed amendment should fail.
Some feel gay marriage should not be allowed, but the current law is sufficient.
Others feel denying rights to gays and lesbians is against basic human rights. Some claim that since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned anti-sodomy statutes, effectively legalizing homosexual practices, gay couples deserve the same legal opportunities as straight couples.
A smaller group goes as far as to say marriage is the venue of religion and personal beliefs and should not be subject to legal definition or regulation by the government.
Many of these viewpoints exist even within our own editorial board.
Take the time to decide your own view on the issue, and, if you are registered in Texas, vote.
Opinion Editor Brian Chatman for the Editorial Board.