Gov. Greg Abbott has responded to a recent letter from Secular Texas requesting that he end his personal war on marriage equality in Texas. The governor had one of his employees respond:
âWhile [Gov. Abbott] believes there are good and decent people on both sides of this issue, Governor Abbott believes in traditional marriage, a belief he shares with the majority of Texans. The governor will continue to support and defend Article 1, Section 32 of the Texas Constitution, which states that marriage consists âonly of the union of one man and one womanâ and was approved by nearly three quarters of Texas voters in 2005.â
Secular Texas never attempted to address the governorâs personal beliefs. We were inquiring into his duties as the governor of Texas. Here is how we are responding:
Thank you for your response in regards to my letter asking you to end your war on marriage equality in Texas. In the response written by one of your employees, it is mentioned that you âbelieveâ in âtraditional marriage.â While I respect your right to your own personal beliefs, I was not inquiring as to your beliefs, but intended to address your duties as Governor of the State of Texas.
In your oath taking on the responsibilities of the Governor of Texas, you vowed that you would âto the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and law of the United States and of this State...â
Section 3 of the Texas Bill of Rights states, âAll free men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive separate public emoluments, or privileges, but in consideration of public services.â
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states, âNo State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; â¦ nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.â
Both the Texas Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States, both of which you are sworn to uphold, guarantee that all citizens will be treated equally under the law, with no special privileges given to any person or group over another. As I requested in my original letter, I would like you to stand by your oath of office and uphold the constitutions of the United States and Texas, and one of the most fundamental guarantees of our society, that all citizens will be treated equally under the law.
Your personal beliefs, while you have the right to hold them and exercise them in your personal life, do not change the vow you freely took or the fact that you are governor for all of Texans -- whether hetero- or homosexual, Baptist or Episcopalian, religious or non-religious.