63 Texas legislators sign court brief linking same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia

TCC

Sixty-three Texas legislators have signed a court brief calling on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the state’s bans on same-sex marriage.

Legislators who signed the friend-of-court brief are members of the Texas Conservative Coalition, a caucus of the Legislature that filed it Monday.

Last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appealed a federal district judge’s decision in DeLeon v. Perry, which struck down the marriage bans as unconstitutional, to the 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans.

Legislators who signed the Texas Conservative Coalition brief include Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, and Sen. Ken Paxton, the GOP nominee for attorney general.

“TCC membership supported the Texas legislature’s action to add provisions in the Texas Family Code restricting same-sex marriage,” the brief states. “TCC also supported the adoption of Art. I, Section 32 to the Texas Constitution which defines marriage solely as a union of one man and one woman, and which was approved by a 76 percent favorable vote of the electorate. As a legislative caucus comprised of public servants who are answerable to a Texas constituency that overwhelmingly supported the same-sex marriage restriction, TCC maintains an ongoing interest in the outcome of this case.”

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The brief states that U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia’s February decision striking down the marriage bans opened the door to a variety of unions that society has deemed unacceptable.

“The district court broadened the definition of the ‘existing right to marry’ as one that includes the right of people to ‘select the partners of their choosing’ for marriage, without regard to sex,” the brief states. “If the right to select ‘partners of their choosing’ is the criterion used to invoke marriage as a fundamental right, then marriage restrictions on age, polygamy, and consanguinity are also ripe for challenge.”

The brief also argues that there is a rational basis for the marriage bans because legislators cited arguments they believed to be plausible in passing them.

“Another ground cited by supporters of Texas’s marriage laws and subsequently dismissed by the district court is that recognition of same-sex marriage ‘could lead to the recognition of bigamy, incest, pedophilia, and group marriage,’” the brief states. “As already discussed in this brief, restrictions on marriage relating to these moral considerations remain valid. Thus, the goal of actively trying to prevent those practices from becoming valid is entirely rational public policy.

“None of this is to say that recognition of pedophilia or other morally reprehensible actions being recognized as valid is actually a logical next step that would follow recognition of same-sex marriages,” the brief continues. “Rather, it supports the fact that legislators and Texas voters enacted Texas’s marriage laws with the intention of supporting marriage arrangements that they believe support valid goals related to those concerns. Thus, the laws are entirely rational and constitutional.”

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The Texas Conservative Coalition’s brief is one of several that have been filed by outside parties in recent days supporting marriage bans. Other groups that have filed briefs include the Liberty Counsel, Concerned Women for America, the state of Louisiana, the state of Indiana, Texas Values, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Texas Eagle Forum.

Below is the full list of legislators who signed the Texas Conservative Coalition brief, which you can read in its entirety at the bottom of this post.

Brian Birdwell, Texas Senate
Donna Campbell, Texas Senate
Bob Deuell, Texas Senate
Craig Estes, Texas Senate
Troy Fraser, Texas Senate
Kelly Hancock, Texas Senate
Robert Nichols, Texas Senate
Dan Patrick, Texas Senate
Ken Paxton, Texas Senate
Charles Schwertner, Texas Senate
Larry Taylor, Texas Senate
Charles “Doc” Anderson, Texas House of Representatives
Trent Ashby, Texas House of Representatives
Cecil Bell, Jr., Texas House of Representatives
Dwayne Bohac, Texas House of Representatives Case: 14-50196 Document:
Dennis Bonnen, Texas House of Representatives
Greg Bonnen, Texas House of Representatives
Angie Chen Button, Texas House of Representatives
Tom Craddick, Texas House of Representatives
Brandon Creighton, Texas House of Representatives
Myra Crownover, Texas House of Representatives
Gary Elkins, Texas House of Representatives
Pat Fallon, Texas House of Representatives
Allen Fletcher, Texas House of Representatives
Dan Flynn, Texas House of Representatives
James Frank, Texas House of Representatives
John Frullo, Texas House of Representatives
Craig Goldman, Texas House of Representatives
Larry Gonzales, Texas House of Representatives
Lance Gooden, Texas House of Representatives
Linda Harper-Brown, Texas House of Representatives
Harvey Hilderbran, Texas House of Representatives
Bryan Hughes, Texas House of Representatives
Jason Isaac, Texas House of Representatives
Phil King, Texas House of Representatives
Tim Kleinschmidt, Texas House of Representatives
Stephanie Klick, Texas House of Representatives
Lois Kolkhorst, Texas House of Representatives
Matt Krause, Texas House of Representatives
Jodie Laubenberg, Texas House of Representatives
George Lavender, Texas House of Representatives
Jeff Leach, Texas House of Representatives
Tryon Lewis, Texas House of Representatives
Rick Miller, Texas House of Representatives
Geanie Morrison, Texas House of Representatives
Jim Murphy, Texas House of Representatives
Rob Orr, Texas House of Representatives
John Otto, Texas House of Representatives
Tan Parker, Texas House of Representatives
Charles Perry, Texas House of Representatives
Larry Phillips, Texas House of Representatives
Scott Sanford, Texas House of Representatives
Matt Schaefer, Texas House of Representatives
Ralph Sheffield, Texas House of Representatives
Ron Simmons, Texas House of Representatives
John Smithee, Texas House of Representatives
Drew Springer, Texas House of Representatives
Van Taylor, Texas House of Representatives
Ed Thompson, Texas House of Representatives
Steve Toth, Texas House of Representatives
Scott Turner, Texas House of Representatives
James White, Texas House of Representatives
Bill Zedler, Texas House of Representatives

Texas Conservative Coalition marriage brief

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