In an effort to create a Democratic house majority in the Texas House state senator Kirk Watson has created an online poll which allows anyone to vote for their favorite democratic incumbent. The winner of the poll will have $10,000 donated to their re-election campaign.
The poll is here: http://www.kirkwatson.com/monopolybuster/lon-burnam/
For those of us who care about equality in Texas this provides a unique opportunity to reward state reps who voted against the Texas version of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2005 (The bills number was HJR 6).
Of the 28 reps in competition:
5 voted against the Texas DOMA (These are the good guys!):
5 voted for the Texas DOMA:
Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles
3 voted against the Texas DOMA, but for reasons other than supporting Marriage Equality (Texas allows reps to put their reasons for voting in the record, I’ve excerpted them here):
Jim Dunnam - “I fully agree that the institution of marriage should be limited to one man and one woman. I supported the Defense of Marriage Act, which is current Texas law. If that were the issue before us today, I would vote the same way again. However, in its continuing zeal to protect the institution of marriage, the legislature now infringes on the contractual rights of both men and women. For example, common-law marriages between men and women are in essence civil unions—but the Chisum Amendment bans civil unions between men and women—and not solely between individuals of the same sex. This is an unnecessary and improper governmental intrusion into the rights of individuals.”
Scott Hochberg - “[Texas DOMA] limits the rights of men and women to contract with each other if the agreement or agreements they sign are "similar" to marriage, even if the agreements are between one man and one woman. That provision goes well beyond the original proposal, which was simply to define marriage. There was no justification offered as to why we would want to limit agreements between a man and a woman in our Constitution.”
Hubert Vo – “I voted against HJR 6 because I believe the State of Texas already recognizes a marriage as only between a man and a woman. While children in hardworking Texas families are going without health insurance and the number of students who receive the Texas Grant—the real Texas Enterprise Fund—has been cut, the Texas House of Representatives should not waste valuable time and state resources to pointlessly change the Texas Constitution. When I ran for office I promised to focus on education, health care, and economic development. I will not vote for meaningless legislation while these truly important issues are not being given adequate consideration.”
1 was in the legislature in 2005, but did not vote on the Texas DOMA:
Veronica Gonzalez “I believe in marriage being between a man and a woman, and I would have preferred to have voted simply on that, especially since that is existing law. But Representative Chisum added a ban on civil unions—possibly even common law marriages—even though he denies that. I do not believe in banning civil unions. For that reason, I voted in favor of the amendments that would have protected these unions. Because HJR 6 was too vague and went too far, I could not, in good conscience, vote for it. Because I believe in marriage between a man and a woman, I didn t’ vote against it. Instead, I joined several of my colleagues in entering a vote of present, not voting.”
14 weren’t in the legislature in 2005:
You can read the record of the vote here: http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/79r/pdf/79rday55final.pdf#page=13)