Texans Handily Pass Gay Marriage Ban
Texas voters overwhelmingly approved making the state the 19th to write a ban against same-sex marriage into the state Constitution. The amendment, approved by 76 percent of voters, duplicates existing state law banning same-sex marriage and follows similar votes in Kansas last April and 13 states in 2004. Only four states had constitutional same-sex marriage bans before Massachusetts' 2003 high court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. While the debate over gay marriage dominated this election, voters passed six of eight other amendments placed on the ballot by the Legislature, spanning issues as varied as criminal justice, transportation, tax incentives and land claims dating back to the founding of the state.
- Gay marriage -- Proposition 2 (76 percent voted yes) prohibits the state from creating or recognizing any legal status for same-sex couples similar to marriage.
- Transportation—Proposition 1 (54 percent voted yes) authorizes the state to subsidize private and public rail improvement. Proposition 9 (53 percent voted no) would have extended the terms of appointees to regional mobility authorities, which are in charge of building turnpikes.
- Economic development—Proposition 3 (51 percent voted yes) allows local governments to not consider certain economic development investments as debt. Proposition 5 (56 percent voted no) would have eased state commercial loan regulations by eliminating interest-rate limits on certain loans.
- Crime—Proposition 4 (85 percent voted yes) expands the authority of judges to deny bail to accused felons who are deemed a potential threat to victims or the community. Proposition 6 (63 percent voted yes) increases the size of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates allegations of judicial misconduct and punishes judges.
- Reverse mortgages—Proposition 7 (59 percent voted yes) allows homeowners age 62 or older to borrow money against their mortgage without paying interest or principle until the house is sold or the owner dies.
- Land claims—Proposition 8 (61 percent voted yes) releases state land claims on more than 5,000 acres of disputed property dating back to the founding of the state.