Pot, that is. And by he, I mean David Simpson (R-Longview).
Simpson filed a bill in the 84th session that would have removed any reference to marijuana from state criminal law (although he said he’d be fine regulating it the same way we regulate things like tomatoes). He explained:
“Everything that God made is good, even marijuana. The conservative thought is that government doesn’t need to fix something that God made good.”
Following that, um, logic, this week, he took a break from staring intently at his hand to ask the governor to convene a special session to take Texas out of the marriage license business. The state, he contends, should not play any role in validating a religious ceremony.
“I don’t like calling a special session. It’s costly. But when you’re faced with this confusion and chaos … something has to be done.”
In Simpson’s view, religious couples seeking to marry would solicit clergy, who would administer the marriage and provide documentation. Non-religious couples could create their own marriage documents and have them sealed at a notary public. The couples would then be eligible for marriage benefits.
Simpson doesn’t approve of same sex marriage — in fact he doesn’t even consider it marriage — but he said he’s not in a position to forbid anyone from doing anything that doesn’t harm anyone.
“They’re free people, and they have rights and they’ll only have to answer to God. It’s not my opinion that matters.“
Sorry, Simpson, I doubt the governor will call a special session, unless someone comes up with a novel approach to restricting abortion access.
The only confusion and chaos seems to be among Republican elected officials, who are twisting themselves like sideshow contortionists to find a way to strip rights away from certain fellow Texans.
These human pretzel antics come from the same movement that had “religious corporations”* protesting that merely signing a waiver to earn an exemption from providing contraceptive coverage under Affordable Care Act guidelines is itself a violation of religious freedom.
We are a nation of laws. We are not a theocracy. At some point, you’re going to get a little peanut butter in your chocolate, and you’re going to get a little government in your private life, and you’re going to be OK. You might even be glad it’s there.
As a wise woman I know said, it is time for fringe religious right Republicans to “render unto Caesar and STFU.”
If you want a god to rule your life and your heart, well, glory be and pass the biscuits. But don’t go into the governing business and think that gives you the right to legislate your religious views.
The tantrums must stop. The political piety must stop. Texas schools need funds, our roads and bridges need repairs, and our water needs protecting. Fees from marriage licenses are part of what lets the GOP keep up the charade of Texas being a low-tax state. They need to put down the pipe and let it be.
*”Religious corporation” is not technically legal corporate structure, but try telling that to Hobby Lobby.