July 3, 2015
The Honorable Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas
The Honorable Dan Patrick, Lt. Governor of Texas
The Honorable Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas
The Honorable Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House
With all due respect, Texans are angry. As the reality of the Supreme Court ruling sinks in, a ruling that conferred special rights to same sex couples and ripped to shreds the definition of marriage as defined by nature’s God, that anger is going to grow. You should also understand it is more than a little irritating that political fundraising off the issue is in full gear when no decisive action is being taken to protect our state constitution or our religious liberty. Resolve, clarity, and decisive actions are needed and are hereby requested from you – our state officials.
On the eve of celebrating our nation’s independence birthed 239 years ago, it is worthwhile to reflect upon these words inscribed on the Jefferson Memorial: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
Gentlemen, what has happened with this ruling is no small matter. In fact, freedom itself is at stake as described by modern day patriot, Dr. Thomas Sowell, who laments what he describes as Supreme Court Disasters, “When any branch of government can exercise powers not authorized by either statutes or the Constitution, “we the people” are no longer free citizens but subjects, and our “public servants” are really our public masters. And America is no longer America. The freedom for which whole generations of Americans have fought and died is gradually but increasingly being taken away from us with smooth and slippery words.”
In light of recent opinions released by the United States Supreme Court, we are deeply concerned that the federal government has over-reached its Constitutional limitations to the extent that the Sovereign State of Texas is in danger of losing its State Constitutional guarantee of a Republican form of government.
We are deeply concerned that you – our state leaders – under pressure by vocal business interests and loud extremists from the left, will simply stand by while our state sovereignty is destroyed and our state constitution nullified by a voracious federal government, assisted by federal judicial activism.
We are deeply concerned by the unprecedented level of apathy and lack of courage demonstrated by a majority of our Congressional delegation and by Congressional leadership as a whole. Their lack of backbone when it comes to wielding constitutional powers to rein in a lawless President and an activist court is sending the United States into clearly uncharted and dangerous territory. We no longer stand on the brink of a constitutional crisis; we are in the midst of it.
Sirs, we ask you, when will it be time for Texas to resist?
We bring to your attention the following issues surrounding the SCOTUS ruling on marriage and its impact on Texas:
1) Left unchecked, the SCOTUS redefinition of marriage sets yet another precedence of federal judicial activism and tyranny. This ruling was clearly “legislating from the bench,” resulting in the usurpation of state law and the trampling of the will of the people as expressed by voters in November 2005, when 76% of Texas voters approved a proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. A majority of voters in only one of the state’s 254 counties opposed the measure (60 % of the voters in Travis County, home to the capital, opposed the amendment).
The Supreme Court took for itself powers not given to the federal government, violating the 9th and 10th amendments to the US Constitution. Nothing in the US Constitution requires or authorizes the redefinition of marriage by the federal government. The Constitution of the United States says that the federal government has only those powers specifically granted to it by the Constitution—and that all other powers belong either to the states or to the people themselves.
2) Left unchecked, the federal government has once again commandeered state assets (assets belonging to the people of Texas), and it appears our statewide leaders and legislators have no will to stop it. Benefits to same sex couples began to flow this week in Texas. The Employee Retirement System of Texas (ERS) announced that same-sex spouses could enroll in the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program beginning July 1st. We are aware of no public meeting or legal process that resulted in this sudden change. This program extends to all state agency and higher education employees as well as retired employees eligible for the Texas Employee Group Benefits Program.
Upon what authority did this agency issue these benefits – benefits that have not been authorized by state law? We are incensed that our duly elected legislature has been bypassed!
3) Left unchecked, this ruling sets the stage for the demise of religious liberty, which resides in the First Amendment. We urge you to go beyond mere words and take immediate and decisive action to protect the freedom of speech, the freedom of association, and the freedom of religion for those who continue to abide by the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The right not to violate one’s own conscience is a fundamental right of the First Amendment (conscientious objection). Currently, many other professions and providers are crying out for religious liberty protection such as faith-based adoption agencies, faith-based foster care agencies, bakers, photographers, florists, Christian schools, county clerks, and justices of the peace. If people of faith are already protected, why are legislators promising to file bills next session? The people of Texas should not have to wait until 2017. Would you have us spend thousands of dollars in court and risk losing our schools and businesses because our leaders refused to act? At a minimum, a special session of the legislature is in order!
4) We must NOT take Texas out of the definition of marriage. Why? 1) The Heritage Foundation’s Dr. Ryan T. Anderson says, “Marriage isn’t just a private affair; marriage is a matter of public policy because marriage (as handed down through generations and based on the biblical definition) is society’s best way to ensure the well-being of children. State recognition of traditional marriage acts as a powerful social norm that encourages men and women to commit to each other so they will take responsibility for any children that follow.” 2) Marriage is woven throughout family law (including adoptions), probate law, and throughout the tax code. The call from some to “take marriage out of the government’s hands” is a simplistic approach to a very complicated issue. While there is no doubt “marriage” is defined by God – and not government – it was long ago that government got involved in marriage in ways it is not easily extracted.
5) Finally, we call to your attention 28 U.S. Code § 455 – Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge, which in plain language reads: “Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have recused themselves from the case because it is a matter of public record that they have officiated gay weddings. We believe the rule of law cries out to be enforced! Just because pundits and liberal law professors say a statute doesn’t matter, does not make it so. We believe this an issue that should be raised by Texas.
If there was ever a time to fight judicial activism to stop an overreaching federal behemoth on the march against individual and states’ rights, it is now. Texas needs to lead.
The nation is watching to see if Texas folds. We pray that you do not.
This matter is of vital interest to us and thousands more across the Lone Star State. Pursuant to our right and duty to petition our elected leaders, we will not cease to raise our voices against inaction.
For Liberty – for Texas,
JoAnn Fleming Executive Dir., Grassroots America
Cathie Adams President, Texas Eagle Forum
Ann Hettinger State Director, Concerned Women for America/TX
Karen Albright President, Freestone County TEA Party
LaDaune Ashley Founding member, Alvin TEA Party Patriots
Steve Baysinger New Revolution Now – San Antonio
Elena Blake Irving Republican Women’s Club
Julie Borik Garland TEA Party
Kelly Canon Vice-President, Arlington TEA Party
Eva Carter Llano TEA Party
Dr. Dwayne Collins Edom TEA Party
Connie Curry Lubbock, GOP Grassroots Activist
Suzanne Dillmann Founding member, Alvin TEA Party Patriots
Sheri Edwards Steering Committee, Alvin TEA Party Patriots;
Co-Founder Texas Conservatives
David Ellis Garland TEA Party
Pamela Engstrom Wylie Tea Party
Maria Espinoza The Remembrance Project
Toni & Tom Fabry Chairman & Treasurer, Frisco TEA Party
Sharon Hall New Revolution Now – New Braunfels
Barbara Harless North Texas Citizens’ Lobby
Joe Harrison Founder, Cass County Patriots
Cole Hefner Director, East Texans for Liberty
Kelly Horsley Katy Tea Party
Mary & Dale Huls President & Board member, Clear Lake TEA Party
Bill Hussey Founder/President, Llano Tea Party
Camille Johnson President, Carrollton Tea Party
Larry Korkmas Longtime Houston Conservative GOP Activist
Cyndi Lawrence President, Katy Libertea
Robin & Jim Lennon President & Director, Kingwood TEA Party, Inc.
Jim & Carla Logan Leaders, Hood County TEA Party
Matt Long Fredericksburg Tea Party
Dr. Ivette C. Lozano President, Dallas County Republican Assembly
Julie McCarty President, North East Tarrant TEA Party
Jerry McIntire Llano TEA Party
Chuck Molyneaux President, McKinney TEA Party; Organizer, North Texas Citizens’ Lobby
Ray Myers President, Kaufman County TEA Party
Naomi Narvaiz America First Latinos – San Marcus
Mike & Marika Olcott Parker County Conservatives
Katrina Pierson Founder, Garland TEA Party; National Political Analyst & Commentator
Don & Rene Poe Leaders, Hood County TEA Party
Pamela Praesel Bryan/College Station TEA Party
Russell Ramsland Park Cities/Preston Hollow Leadership Forum
Mark Reid North Texas Citizens’ Lobby
Pedro Rivera America First Latinos – Houston
George Rodriguez America First Latinos – San Antonio
Dr. Barry A. Schlech VP Communications, Texas Patriots TEA Party;
President, We The People of Texas PAC
Cindy/Mike Schwartz President & Founder, We the People – Longview
Jan Shedd Steering Committee, Kaufman County TEA Party
Bryan Slayton Hunt County Conservative
Shirley Spellerberg President, Denton County Republican Assembly
Barb Stauffer Steering Committee Garland TEA Party; Golden Corridor Republican Women
Joline Tate Steering Committee, Garland TEA Party
Liz Theiss North Houston Tea Party Patriots
Pat Tibbs Montgomery County TEA Party
Dean Wright Director, New Revolution Now; Austin TEA Party
Maggie Wright Past President, Texas Patriots Tea Party
Pastor Gregory Young Host, The Chosen Generation Radio Show & Ignite the Fire Group
Larry Youngblood President, Leon County Tea Party