Shane Pellerin Law Firm Probate LawyerState Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa filed legislation Monday that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, as long as Texas voters overturn a constitutional ban that was approved in 2005.

The legislation would take effect next year, but only if another amendment gets two-thirds majority vote as well as the support of Texas voters in November. While the constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil unions was only passed less than 10 years ago, the senator’s office is pointing to a changing public opinion toward same-sex unions in the state of Texas.

If same-sex unions in Texas are approved, civil unions in Texas would offer same-sex couples the same benefits granted to those Texans in traditional marriages.

This effort in Texas coincides with the United States Supreme Court’s hearing of oral arguments as to whether it should uphold parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court will also be hearing arguments in a California case over whether the state’s voter-approved ban should be considered constitutional.

Source: The Monitor, “Same-Sex Civil Unions in Texas? McAllen Dem’s Bill Could Pave the Way,” Jared Janes, February 12, 2013