88th LegislatureIssuesRepeal of Texas Marriage Amendment Among Bills Introduced by Dallas County Lawmakers

Texas recognizes same-sex marriage by order of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the state’s marriage amendment remains on the books.
February 7, 2023
Dallas County lawmakers introduced notable proposals for consideration during the 88th Legislature, including proposals to repeal the state’s unenforceable definition of marriage, extend the statute of limitations for certain crimes against children, and expand the law against possession of a firearm by some assailants.

In the Texas Senate, Dallas County is represented primarily by Sens. Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) and Royce West (D-Dallas). Sens. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) and Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) have districts that extend into Dallas County, but neither of their hometowns are within its boundaries. Reps. Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) and Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) are the only Republicans from Dallas County in the Texas House.


Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Farmers Branch) filed a bill to repeal the section of the Texas Constitution that defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman.”

The State of Texas has been required to license and recognize same-sex marriages since 2015 due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Obergefell v. Hodges; however, the marriage amendment passed by Texas voters in 2005 remains in the state constitution.

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House Joint Resolution 61 would place the following language on the ballot in November: “The constitutional amendment repealing the constitutional provision providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

In a recent poll by the University of Houston, 62 percent of adults in Texas said they would vote in favor of repealing the state’s constitutional amendment.

While public opinion has shifted dramatically in favor of recognizing same-sex marriage, it is unlikely that such a proposal would be passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The GOP still relies heavily on the support of socially conservative voters and publicly supporting same-sex marriage would be fraught with political peril for any Texas Republican.

Sen. Nathan Johnson introduced an identical bill in the Senate.

Statutes of Limitations

Meyer introduced several bills that would make changes to the criminal code’s statutes concerning offenses against children.

Texas law requires the attorney general to provide a system whereby victims of certain crimes can have their addresses remain confidential. Meyer introduced a bill, House Bill (HB) 1161, that would include victims of child abduction in that program.

Meyer also introduced two other bills concerning the statutes of limitations for certain crimes against children. HB 1769 would extend the statute of limitations for prosecuting certain sexual exploitation and trafficking crimes against children to 20 years after the victim’s 18th birthday. Another bill, HB 1506, would extend the statute of limitations for prosecuting the crime of abandoning or endangering a child from five years to ten years.


Rep. Terry Meza (D-Irving) filed a bill that would expand the existing prohibition on possession of a firearm by someone convicted of committing a Class A misdemeanor assault against someone in their own household or family. Currently, it is criminal for someone to possess a gun within five years of their release from jail or community supervision.

However, HB 482 seems to propose expanding that to include all assaults, not just Class A misdemeanors, and encompass other types of relationships, including dating relationships.

The preceding list is only a sample of bills that have been introduced this session. All bills and resolutions filed by state lawmakers can be found on the Texas Legislature’s website.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."