The new Texas anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment, passed by voters yesterday, is worded badly. How badly?
Folks, it prohibits recognition of any status "identical to [...] marriage."
A marriage is identical to a marriage. Doesn't this mean that it eliminates recognition of all marriages in Texas?
Let's take a good look at the text of this amendment, shall we?
SECTION 1. Article I, Texas Constitution, is amended by adding Section 32 to read as follows:
Sec. 32. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
So, first they define marriage, and then they say that the state can't recognize anything that is either identical to marriage as they've defined it, or anything that is similar to marriage as they've defined it. So: no straight marriages, no straight common-law marriages, no straight civil unions, no straight anything. If it's one man and one woman, by definition, it's not allowed in Texas anymore.
BUT! As was said in an anonymous comment to a blog that pointed this out before the election even took place,
"To apply (b) you need to use the definition in (a). Thus the state cannot create or recognize a legal status involving the union of one man and one woman. But it could still recognize other kinds of unions, eg same sex unions and unions involving more than 2 persons."
I really hope to see a judge enforce this law as written.