A controversial anti-gay bill thought
dead this session by opponents has resurfaced as an amendment to a
bill now being considered in the Texas Senate.
The original bill, HB 4105, introduced
by Republican Rep. Cecil Bell, was co-sponsored by a majority of
Republicans, guaranteeing its passage on the House floor. However,
it came 23 bills from a vote before a midnight deadline for House
bills arrived earlier this month.
Bell's measure sought to prohibit state
or local governments from using public funds to issue marriage
licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
According to the Houston
Chronicle, Democratic Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. attached two
dozen bills to a county affairs placeholder bill filed by Rep. Garnet
Coleman, including Bell's controversial – and thought defeated –
bill. Coleman's bill reached the Republican-led Senate on Monday.
Lucio said that he added the
legislation at Bell's request.
Coleman vowed to withdraw his bill if
he's unable to remove the anti-same sex marriage language.
“I don't have any problem with
stopping bad legislation,” Coleman said. “I'm not going to be
forced into carrying somebody else's hate in my legislation. It's
just not going to happen.”
Democrats on the Senate
Intergovernmental Affairs Committee that approved the changes said
that Lucio did not include the anti-gay marriage bill in a “preview”
email sent to committee members.