Thursday, March 30, 2023

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Texas Lawmakers Pull Resolution Honoring Historic Gay Couple

A symbolic resolution honoring a gay couple was pulled from a vote in the Texas House after opposition from some Republican lawmakers.

House Resolution 85, authored by State Rep. Mihaela Plesa, a Democrat from Dallas, honored Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes, the gay Texas couple who challenged the state’s ban on marriage equality in 2013.

“I’ve spoken with Mark and Vic, and we’ve decided to pull this resolution down from consideration,” Pleasa said in a statement announcing the move. “We will not be a party to the hatefulness on display.”

Phariss and Holmes sued the state of Texas in 2013 to overturn its ban on marriage equality. The state dropped its defense in the lawsuit following the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 recognizing marriage equality at the federal level. Phariss and Holmes were later awarded $605,000 in attorney’s fees from the state.

State Rep. Tony Tinderholt, a Republican, was among those in opposition to HR 85.

“Dade Phelan’s leadership team is placing another pro LGBTQ+ resolution in this week’s resolution packet (HR 85),” Tinderholt tweeted on Tuesday.

The Dallas Morning News reports that hundreds of similar resolutions are passed every session — examples include congratulating the Houston Astros on their 2022 World Series win or recognizing a local barbecue competition.

Despite the setback, Plesa vowed to honor the couple in a resolution that did not require a House vote.

“I won’t allow a radical agenda of hatred and division to tarnish this resolution and above all else, I refuse to allow Texans to be used as political pawns or be subjected to harassment.”

Texas has introduced several proposals targeting LGBTQ+ people, including banning transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming health care.

RELATED: PHOTOS: Meet the Men Taking on Texas’s Marriage Ban

Read the full article here

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