Texas Republican’s Bill Would Withhold Salary from State Employees Who, in Future, Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

A new bill in Texas sponsored by Republican Rep. Cecil Bell would cut off the salary of any state official who issued a wedding license to a gay couple… if that ever became legal. (Texas is currently one of only 14 states where gay couples can’t get married.)

[Bell] said he filed HB 623 to prevent any federal court or federal action from allowing gay marriage in Texas.

“The federal government is trying to act to create moral standards, and that’s just not acceptable,” Bell said.

His bill says taxes or public funds can’t be used to issue same-sex marriage licenses or be used to enforce a court order to recognize same-sex marriage.

Actually, Bell’s the one trying to create moral standards for everyone. The government’s job is to get out of the way in these instances and let people make their own decisions.

And if a court order recognized same-sex marriage, then public funds absolutely could be used to issue same-sex marriage licenses. That’s kind of the whole point of a court order.

Daniel Williams, a legislative specialist for the gay rights group Equality Texas, said the bill would go against legal precedent.

“This bill is retreading very well-established precedent here. In 1869, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Texas v. White that no, Texas does may not ignore federal law whenever it wants,” Williams said. “Beyond it ignoring federal law, it would actually punish state employees who follow the law.”

Bingo. Bell’s bill would punish state employees trying to do the right thing.

There’s no way this should pass. But remember: This is Texas, where Republicans run the House and Senate and Governor Rick Perry is hardly a champion of civil rights.

(via Joe. My. God.)

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