Zahira Torres over at the El Paso Times had a fascinating story in the Sunday edition about the runoff race between state Rep. Norma Chavez and her Democratic primary opponent Naomi Gonzalez. Chavez has been calling Gonzalez gay and demanding that she come out. Gonzalez hasn't responded and says the race is about Chavez and her record.
In the story, Chavez says the reason Gonzalez's sexual orientation is important as a political issue is because it could affect her vote on legislation involving gay marriage. Texas legislators and voters statewide already prohibited gay marriage in this state with a constitutional amendment in 2005. So, the story got me to wondering whether Chavez voted against that measure. Turns out, she didn't vote for it or against it, she registered present not voting on HJR6 by state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa. The way I read what she entered in the journal about the reason for her vote is that she felt the measure would also prohibit civil unions, which she doesn't think should be eliminated. Here's what Chavez entered in the House Journal about her vote:
"My intention was to vote for HJR 6 as filed and as it was presented to the full House for consideration and action. I strongly support the institution of marriage and believe that our government should support efforts to strengthen this important bond between a man and a woman. However, I also believe individuals should have the right and their rights protected when entering into civil agreements and contracts. The Chisum Amendment that was added to the bill puts into question the consideration and protection of civil unions. Since this proposed constitutional amendment now includes the prohibition of such arrangements, I could not in good conscience vote in favor of HJR 6."
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.