Representative Bell Files Bill to Defend Traditional Marriage in Texas

January 7, 2015

Austin, TX – Today, Representative Bell (Magnolia) filed legislation known as the Texas Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act. House Bill 623 is worded to prohibit state or local funds, including governmental salaries, from being used to license or support same-sex marriage.

“When I was elected, I made a promise to my constituents to fight to protect our traditional values and to stand strong in the defense of our constitutional rights as Texans and as Americans. Texas is a sovereign state and our citizens have the right to define marriage. We as Texans voted in 2005 to define marriage as being solely between a man and woman. In Texas marriage is sacred and traditional families are recognized as the fabric of our society.” said Rep. Bell.

“I was disappointed, to say the least, when a federal judge ruled Texas’s constitutional definition of marriage to be an unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The 10th Amendment protects the right of Texas to pass Prop 2. With the 84th Session around the corner, Texas will stand up and defend its constitutional right against federal overreach,” said Rep. Bell.

On Friday, the Firth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments over statewide bans that prevent same-sex couples from getting married.

In addition to prohibiting the use of taxpayer funds or salary, H.B. 623 expressly prohibits state or local government employees from recognizing, granting, or enforcing same-sex marriage licenses. Employees who violate the law may not receive salaries or taxpayer-funded pensions or benefits. H.B. 623 also contains provisions prohibiting courts from recognizing same-sex licenses and requires a court to dismiss actions challenging the law. The bill also contains a severance clause.

H.B. 623 is supported by Texas Values and the Conservative Republicans of Texas.

Jessica Lynch, Chief of Staff
(512) 463-0650

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