Texas Democrats Run the Clock Out on Anti-LGBT Bill
Remember when Ted Cruz talked for over 21 hours against the Affordable Healthcare Act? Well, Texas Democrats took a page out of his playbook and used similar tactics to end an anti-LGBT bill this week.
With the U.S. Supreme Court deciding next month on the case of marriage equality on a national scale, Texas lawmakers constructed bill HB 4105 that would prevent gay marriage in Texas, no matter the Supreme Court's decision, by denying the use of state money in the issuing of marriage licenses to gay couples or performing any act that would recognize such marriages. Thursday was the cut-off day for HB 4105 and other bills to be voted out of the chamber in which they were introduced. Democratic lawmakers used a filibuster-like tactic known as "chubbing", drawing out debate and discussion of unrelated bills to keep the offending bill from being heard. As explained by Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network,
As each of their bills comes up, no matter how noncontroversial, they’re coming to the mic to thank the author for offering such brilliant legislation, ask all kinds of questions, and generally use up every single minute available for debate on the bill.
By the time the midnight cutoff came about, no votes had been cast for or against HB 4105. Rep. Cecil Bell, the sponsor of HB 4105, has said he intends to see if aspects of the original bill can be incorporated into other bills that have already passed beyond the House. However, in speaking on the details of the bill, Rep. Bell focused on issues of state sovereignty over potential discrimination with his bill,
The bill gets its traction from the fact that it literally seeks to make sure that our taxpayer dollars are used the way Texans want them to be used and defines our sovereignty.
Texas Freedom Network, Equality Texas, the ACLU of Texas, and the Human rights Campaign all opposed the bill and encouraged their members to contact lawmakers at the capital to protest the bill. Texas-based companies American Airlines and Dell also opposed the bill, both referring to it as "discrimination".