Branch Files Brief Defending State Marriage Law

State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas
State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas

State Rep. Dan Branch, a candidate in the 2014 state attorney general's race, filed an amicus brief Tuesday with the state Supreme Court to defend a state law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The case in question — involving a couple who married in Massachusetts and later sought a divorce in Texas — also examines whether the attorney general is allowed to intercede. In a news release, Branch, R-Dallas, who declared his candidacy for that position last month, called it “the duty of the Texas Attorney General to defend the sovereignty and laws of Texas.”

But others have argued that the question of whether a same-sex couple can get a divorce is not relevant to constitutional definitions of marriage. The attorney general would only be allowed to intervene in a divorce case if there were a question of a law’s constitutionality, said Daniel Williams, a legislative specialist at Equality Texas, a gay rights advocacy group.

“This is about Dan Branch's political ambitions — not at all about good government,” Williams said.  

In response to Williams' statement, Enrique Marquez, Branch's campaign manager, said that Branch "strongly believes it's the duty of the attorney general to defend the sovereignty and laws of Texas, and that's why he filed the brief today."

Other Republicans running for attorney general include Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman and state Sen. Ken Paxton of McKinney.

 

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