Tuesday, April 19, 2011

UPDATE: West Will Vote Against Trans-Marriage Ban

Original title: Unconfirmed Reports Indicate West Supports Anti-Trans Marriage Bill
From my article on the Dallas Voice Instat Tea Blog:

"Cristan Williams, the executive director of the Houston Transgender Center, posted a report on Twitter that Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, is planning to vote in favor of Senate Bill 723. As Instant Tea previously reported, SB 723 would remove a court-ordered change of sex from the list of documents that can be used to prove identity when obtaining a marriage license. The bill has the potential to void all opposite-sex marriage in Texas where one partner is transgender.

Williams’ information was based on a report from a Houston-area transgender advocate who called West’s office to encourage him to oppose SB 723 and was told by a staffer that the senator had received a number of calls in support of the bill and would be voting for it. West’s office has not responded to requests that he confirm or deny the report.

SB 723 was originally on the list of bills to be considered on Monday, but the Senate adjourned both Monday and today without voting on it. The bill is now expected to be considered on Wednesday.

West, whose district includes much of the Oak Lawn neighborhood, can be reached at 512-463-0123 or by e-mail at "

UPDATE: Kelvin Bass, Media Relations for Sen. West, returned my call regarding SB 723. According to Bass: “The Senator was not aware of this bill until reading the Dallas Voice article and had not yet formed an opinion but he will not be supporting the bill.”


  1. I visited with all 12 Democratic Senate offices in person today. They were all supportive of voting no on 723 with the exception of Sen. Uresti whose aide stated that he was undecided. I encourage as many people as possible to call the Senator's office and encourage him to vote no.

    Paula Buls, LMSW
    Chair, National Association of Social Workers- Texas Chapter, Committee on GLBT Issues.

  2. Thanks Paula - I've been worried Uresti might be the 20th vote. He voted "Present, not voting" when SB 723 came through committee (at one point, before Sen. Huffman came back into the hearing room, a "nay" vote from him would have killed the bill). The good news is that if he votes "present, not voting" on the floor the bill still dies, since it has to receive 20 "Yea" votes to pass.