Last November, voters in the City of Denton Texas voted overwhelmingly to ban hydraulic fracturing in their community. Not exactly a liberal bastion, Denton residents had apparently had enough of the environmental issues that go hand-in-hand with oilfield operations. Having worked several years in the oilfield myself in my younger days, I don’t have to be an environmental expert to readily see why oil rigs and neighborhoods don’t mix well. The entire operation is noisy, dirty, scary, and all-around better built for the boondocks than down the street from Aunt Susie’s house and little Timmy’s elementary school.
But trust your friendly neighborhood state legislature to fix this for industry: they just passed a ban on such bans. The legislation is sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Soon, the collective will of Denton voters won’t be worth the paper they wrote it on. But, what the hey – the legislature made a public policy choice. Perhaps not the choice the good people of Denton particularly appreciate, but you know – you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette, and part of that breakage is apparently to overturn the decision Denton voters made a mere six months ago.
But wait. I can hardly believe my eyes. Surely this can’t be true!? Is this a typo?! Was that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on CNN earlier today, explaining that Texas’ ban on gay marriage is justified precisely because Texas voters approved the ban in a referendum ten years ago? Why yes, yes I believe it was.
“We passed a constitutional amendment [banning same-sex marriage] in 2005, it was overwhelmingly approved by the voters,” Paxton told CNN host Alisyn Camerota. “That’s our background here.”
General Paxton and other Republicans are really fond of bringing up that ten year old vote, so they can justify their discrimination by using words other than “gay people give me the creeps” or “my adoring political base gets a little stiffy every time I pick on THOSE people.” But apparently the voices of voters only matter if Republicans happen to agree with the conclusions those voters reach.
So, just to review:
Texas citizens who overwhelmingly vote to ban hydraulic fracturing in their neighborhoods: BAD. VERY BAD.
Texas citizens who vote to ban other people from marrying who they love: GOOD. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
Tell me again how your opposition to marriage equality isn’t really about you being a bigot? Because I never get tired of hearing that story.