Right-wing legislators pursue anti-gay agenda once again.
There's no time like the present for pushing forward the anti-gay agenda in Texas. Just ask Reps. Warren Chisum (HB 38), Sid Miller (HB 916), Robert Talton (HB 1911 and 194), and even the supposedly moderate Sen. Jeff Wentworth (SB 7), each of whom has filed legislation that would variously prevent gays and lesbians from marrying, adopting children, or serving as foster parents. Talton has taken matters further still with HB 1911, which would ban the placement of foster children "with any unmarried individuals." Talton told The Pasadena Citizen: "I don't think it's right to teach a gay and lesbian lifestyle to a young child before the age of accountability." Wentworth also went the extra mile with his Defense of Marriage Act bill, or DOMA, by rounding up 21 co-signers -- it rolled through the Senate State Affairs Committee last week, as Wentworth declared, "People talk about 'discrimination' as though it's a bad thing -- it's something we do all the time." To soften the blow, Wentworth did add a provision saying the bill would not bar contractual relationships or interfere with employee domestic-partner benefits. Chisum's House companion was the subject of extended and largely inflammatory testimony in State Affairs in mid-March, and the committee sent it to Calendars Monday night. Randall Ellis, executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, said he expects DOMA to be a slam-dunk in the Senate, but to undergo tougher scrutiny in the House. "We're expecting our advocates on the House floor to talk about how ridiculous the bill is," he said. As for the foster parent and adoption bills, no committee hearings have been scheduled at press time.