Texas Definition of Marriage Act, Proposition 2 (2005)

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This article is about a 2005 ballot measure in Texas. For other measures with a similar title, see Proposition 2.

The Texas Definition of Marriage Referendum, also known as Proposition 2, was on the November 8, 2005 election ballot in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure defined marriage in Texas is solely the union of a man and woman, and that the state and its political subdivisions could not create or recognize any legal status identical to or similar to marriage, including such legal status relationships created outside of Texas.[1]


On February 26, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia declared the measure unconstitutional in a case brought by four plaintiffs: Victor Holmes, Mark Phariss, Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman. Despite overturning the measure, Garcia placed a stay on his decision. This means the law will remain effectively in place until an appeal is heard and decided.[2]

The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has agreed to take up the case and has set a tentative hearing date for the week of January 5, 2015.[3]

Election results

Texas Proposition 2 (2005)
OverturnedotOverturned Case:DeLeon v. Perry. 
Yes 1,723,782 76.25%

Proposition 2 was one of two marriage-related ballot measures on the 2005 ballot, the other being the Kansas Marriage Amendment (2005), which also was approved.

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[4]

The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas

As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.

Related measures

Voters in 30 states have approved legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or initiated constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriages at the ballot box. The first constitutional prohibition was in 1998, and the latest one occurred in May 2012. Most of these amendments define marriage along the lines of a "union of one male and one female."


The following constitutional bans were approved by voters, but later overturned by courts:

Note: Florida's repeal will go into effect on January 5, 2015.


Cases overturning the following bans have been appealed to higher courts and are currently stayed:


The following constitutional bans were approved by voters and have been upheld or not overturned by courts:


The following constitutional bans were defeated by voters:

Note: Arizonans defeated a measure in 2006, but approved one in 2008, which has been overturned.

See also

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External links