Someone in the office of my state senator e-mails me regularly to tell me what Todd Staples has been doing. His latest dido is sponsoring an amendment to the Texas Constitution that will restrict marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships to male-female couples: "Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."
It has passed the House and may well pass the Senate before I get home on Sunday, at which point it will go before the voters on November 8 and I'll most likely cast another futile vote and watch Texas's constitution add another stupid amendment. Last time the Lege was in session, they passed a regular Defense of Marriage law, but I guess they think they'd better kick it up a notch to constitutional amendment.
One bright spot, though; at least public norms have changed enough that instead of hinting darkly at strange and unnatural relationships, Sen. Staples feels compelled to say, "There is a distinction between the right to intimate association and the right to have the government recognize or subsidize a particular form of relationship [...] and this law would not prohibit private contracts to appoint guardians and arrange rights for medical decisions and life insurance policies." It's the minimum of decency to acknowledge that people in same-sex relationships would like to enjoy the benefits and responsibilities of marriage, but with people like Rick Santorum in the U.S. Senate, I appreciate having people with even that bare scraping of humanity representing me.