Time ran out Thursday before the Texas
House had a chance to vote on a controversial bill which sought to
prohibit state or local governments from using public funds to issue
marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
The bill, HB 4105, introduced by
Republican Rep. Cecil Bell, came 23 bills from a vote before the
midnight deadline for House bills arrived.
A majority of Republicans had signed on
as co-sponsors of the bill, guaranteeing its passage had it reached
the House floor.
Democrats kept the bill at bay by
prolonging debate, a practice called “chubbing.”
However, the legislative session does
not end until June.
“From my perspective, no bill is dead
as long as there are other bills in front. You just have to find
something that's germane,” Bell told The
Texas Tribune. “The session still moves on.”
That is, the bill could return as an
amendment to a related Senate bill.
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
unconstitutional. A ruling is expected next month.