HIDALGO COUNTY, TX (NEWS CENTER 23) — Proposed Senate Bill 480 may be the first step in a repeal against the Texas 'Defense Against Marriage Act.' Eli Olivarez is a huge advocate for marriage equality and is delighted with the news.
"Well I was surprised it was coming out of Texas. But I was not surprised that it was Senator Hinojosa. Senator Hinojosa has always been an equality advocate," said Eli Olivarez, Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus President.
The Texas Marriage Amendment defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and prohibits recognition of anything similar to marriage, including civil unions.
"So it is a step in the right direction, but it does not have all the rights that marriage has," said Olivarez.
If enacted, this bill would allow legal protection for same-gender couples including property rights, homestead rights, child custody and support, adoption, and more.
The LGBT Alliance at UTPA is thrilled with this news.
"Well there are some days that I thought no, something like this could never happen, but you know Texas is growing and changing, and you know I think people are finally coming around to that equality mindset," said Moran Duran.
If passed, this wouldn't take effect until 2014.
To learn more about the bill visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SJR29