As explained in this Dallas Morning News article:

After an impassioned three-hour fight Monday that called up images of civil-rights struggles and bans on interracial marriages, the [Texas] House approved a constitutional ban on gay marriages and civil unions.

NOW–not later–is the time to tell your Texas (state) Senators how you feel about this and why they should not support the measure in the Senate.  We don’t want this to get to a vote of the people, because we can’t trust the state that voted for Shrub (twice!) to vote this measure down.

More below the flip . . .
According to the DMN story:

The proposed amendment was approved, 101-29, barely clearing the required threshold of two-thirds of the 150 seats in the House. It now goes to the Senate, where it must draw two-thirds support but has no sponsor. Then, it would have to be approved by a majority of voters in an election this fall.

If the ban passes, it would take another constitutional amendment to repeal it – a fact supporters said was key to protect marriage from “activist judges” who might overrule a state law, already on the books, that bans gay marriage.

What will this proposed amendment do?  It would change the Texas Constitution’s Bill of Rights to define marriage as “a union between one man and one woman.”  Fourteen states have similar constitutional bans. Don’t let Texas be one of them!

What else will this proposed amendment do?  I would prevent the state or any city or county from creating or recognizing “any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”  This constitutes, in effect, a ban on civil unions.

Here is the crap they spewed in support of the amendment:

The amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, said that marriage “deserves the highest level of protection so that marriage will not be interfered with in this state.”

“We’re really, really happy – not only that it’s passed, but the content that is so clearly in defense of traditional families and something that hopefully will protect us from judicial activism in the future,” said Cathie Adams, executive director of the Texas Eagle Forum.

“I do not believe that this bill does anything that would in any way harm our family and friends,” said Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels. “People who choose to live together, or choose some other lifestyle, we’re not saying they can’t do that.”

What can you do?

WRITE YOUR TEXAS SENATOR AND TELL HIM/HER YOU DON’T WANT THIS AMENDMENT.  TELL THEM POLITELY, BUT FIRMLY, THAT YOU WILL TAKE EVERY POSSIBLE MEASURE TO VOTE FOR THEIR OPPONENT IF THEY SUPPORT THIS AMENDMENT.

Need help finding your Texas Senator?  Look here.

*Here is some helpful language from the amendment’s opponents–feel free to use it in writing to your state Senator:

Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, called the amendment “Chisum’s gay tax” because it precludes gays and lesbians from ever being able to enjoy some of the economic benefits that come with marriage.

Ms. Thompson, who is black, recalled lynchings of black people who married or tried to marry white people when she was a child. And though Monday’s debate was not along racial lines, she said, it was still about civil rights.

“The people of my color? They would be hanging from a tree,” she said. “That’s how the white people protected marriage back then.”

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

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