Gay Marriage Decision Goes to Voters

5-21-05- A proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in Texas now rests in the hands of voters after winning approval in the Senate today. If approved in a statewide vote in November, Texas would join 14 states that statutorily and constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.

State law already prohibits same-sex marriages. This amendment
would define marriage as between one man and one woman.

The House narrowly passed the proposal last month.

Opponents have criticized the ban as discrimination against gays
and lesbians. They say it could also harm heterosexual families if
domestic partner benefits, powers of attorney and common law marriage are called into question.

But Senator Todd Staples, a republican from Palestine and Senate
sponsor of the legislation, said none of those scenarios would be