Houston lawyer Barbara Ann Radnofsky, who plans to challenge Greg Abbott as a Democratic candidate in next year's Attorney General race, must feel that the spotlight isn't shining bright enough from her speaking gig at tonight's Tarrant County Young Democrats Gubernatorial Forum at Texas Christian University. Or maybe she wanted to give TCU students something better to talk about than stealing toilet paper and pissing in laundry rooms. Or maybe she was just bored.
Whatever the reason, Radnofsky decided to tell a reporter from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Texas basically shot itself in the foot by banning gay marriage and actually banned all marriages in the state. The "massive mistake," which Radnofsky blames on Abbott, comes from a 2005 constitutional amendment. From the Star-Telegram article:
The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:
"This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."
"You do not have to have a fancy law degree to read this and understand what it plainly says," Radnofsky told the Star-Telegram. "Yes, I believe the clear language of B bans all marriages..."
Hair Balls called the Radnofsky campaign to find out what exactly she intended when she declared all Texas marriages nullified, but we haven't heard back with any answers. So, we decided to call the man we consider to be the real authority on marital law in Houston, Earle Lilly.
Lilly, who recently represented the former wife of New York Yankee "great" Alex Rodriguez, started our interview by outlining his views on gay marriage.
"I've been working on high profile cases for 30-plus years, and I've never seen anything like it. The tidal wave is here," Lilly told Hair Balls. "I'm not saying I agree with it or disagree with it, but they've fought hard for marital rights, and like it or not, it's here."
Lilly has been approached to represent someone in a case involving gay marriage, but he chose not to take the client.
"I don't have any interest in this stage in my career in introducing any new causes of action," Lilly said. "But yes, I have been approached on multiple occasions."
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Unfortunately, Lilly said, a question about Radnofsky's claim isn't a question for him, but for the Texas Supreme Court.
How would they decide? Lilly said his partner Bobby Newman, who he called his "heir apparent," might be in a better position to answer that question. (Newman, by the way, believes that gay marriage will eventually "be available in Texas.")
"I handle a lot of divorce cases, a lot of hotly contested divorce cases, and I've never seen anything like that," Newman told Hair Balls. "I think that's exceedingly unlikely."
So, sorry Radnofsky, but for us, that case is closed.