Appearing Wednesday on CNN, Texas
Attorney General Ken Paxton defended a proposed bill which would ban
state employees from issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian
The measure is a response to a Supreme
Court case challenging bans on gay marriage in four states. Texas'
ban would become unenforceable if the high court ruled such bans
“We passed a constitutional amendment
in 2005. It was overwhelmingly approved by the voters,” Paxton
told CNN's Alisyn Camerota.
Camerota pointed out that recent polls
show Texans evenly split on the issue.
Paxton insisted that the “real poll”
took place on election day.
“My job as attorney general and the
job of the Legislature is to really follow the will of the people and
enforce the laws that we have. This is both in statute and in our
Paxton is currently defending Texas'
ban, calling on a federal appeals court to overturn a lower court's
ruling striking it down as unconstitutional. He would not say
whether the state would follow a high court decision legalizing
same-sex marriage nationwide.
“[Gays] can do whatever they want,”
Paxton insisted. “But the reality itself right now in Texas was
defined by the people of Texas overwhelmingly as between a man and a
woman. And that's the law of Texas. It's in our constitution. It's
in our statutes.”
“They can't really do whatever they
want, as you've just said,” Camerota responded. “Do you
understand why gays in Texas would feel that is discriminating
“They can feel how they want. The
reality is the voters of Texas have passed the law as it is,”