A Texas House committee on Wednesday
approved a bill that seeks to prohibit gay couples from marrying.
Republican Rep. Cecil Bell's
Preservation of Sovereignty & Marriage Act (HB 4105) cleared the
State Affairs Committee with the support of its 7 Republican members.
Democrats on the committee rejected the measure.
“The intent is to assert the
sovereign rights of Texas and of the citizens of Texas,” Bell
said. “I believe it is a bipartisan issue – our social
rights and our traditional values.”
The proposed legislation seeks to cut
off funding for issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
A federal judge last year struck down
Texas' voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to
heterosexual couples. An appeals court heard arguments in the case
Gay rights advocates criticized Bell's
“HB 4105 is blatant discrimination,
which is bad for business and our reputation nationwide,” Christina
Gorczynski, campaign director for Texas Wins, said in a statement.
The issue moves to the nation's highest
court next week. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case
challenging bans in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.