Monday, May 30, 2011

House Recognizes Warren Chisum, Architect of the Texas "Defense of Marriage Act"

Warren Chisum, the man behind the Texas version of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act," who this session authored HB 2628 (a bill that, if it had become law, would have dramatically expanded the powers of the Texas Attorney General to interfere in same-sex divorce cases), was honored this afternoon by the Texas House. The House passed HR 2227, "Commending the Honorable Warren Chisum for his many years of outstanding public service."

Chisum, who has served in the House since 1989, is leaving the legislature to seek higher office. It is not uncommon for the House to pass resolutions honoring long serving members, and I don't find it particularly upsetting that they've chosen to so honor Chisum. What does upset me is this excerpt from the text of the resolution:
"Warren Chisum married his high school sweetheart, Omega, in 1957, and the couple will celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary in October 2011; the proud parents of two children, Jeff and Kim, they have been additionally blessed with six grandchildren, and their family has grown to include a fourth generation;"
For the man who spent his 22 year legislative career insuring the relationships and families of queer Texans would not be recognized to be congratulated for his long marriage is a slap in the face of the entire LGBT community. More shocking still, not one person in the 150 member house was able to identify this cruel irony. Instead the resolution passed unanimously.

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