2015 Texas Lege: Contender for Most Ridiculous Bill of the Session

by Dan Quinn

A Texas legislator who opposes same-sex marriage has a message for federal courts and gay people: “Screw you.”

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is set to consider on Friday a case that could overturn the ban on same-sex marriage in Texas. But state Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, wants Texas to ignore a ruling that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution. So he has filed House Bill 623, the so-called “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act,” which would bar the use of any public funds to enforce a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

It gets worse. The bill also would strip salary, pension and other employment benefits from any local or state official who respects a court decision by recognizing, granting or enforcing a marriage license for a same-sex couple. Moreover, it requires state courts to dismiss any legal action challenging the bill’s provisions and forces the plaintiff to pay all attorney and court costs. And for good measure, the bill declares that the state is not subject, because of the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to lawsuits over the provisions of the bill.

In other words: “We don’t care about no stinkin’ Constitution. We’ll treat people we don’t like any way we want to.”