Texas Ban on Same Sex Marriage Possible

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AUSTIN -- A proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in Texas now rests in the hands of voters after winning approval in the Senate today.

If approved in a statewide vote in November, Texas would join 14 states that statutorily and constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. The Senate approved the amendment on a 21-to-8 vote.

State law already prohibits same-sex marriages. This amendment would define marriage as between one man and one woman. The House narrowly passed the proposal last month.

Opponents have criticized the ban as discrimination against gays and lesbians. They say it could also harm heterosexual families if domestic partner benefits, powers of attorney and common law marriage are called into question.

But Senator Todd Staples, a republican from Palestine and Senate sponsor of the legislation, said none of those scenarios would be affected.