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Chisum, Wynne to debate Texas HJR 6, marriage definition legislation

By J. Lyn Carl,

Austin, TX – Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa), author of HJR 6 from the 79th Regular Session that proposes a constitutional amendment providing that marriage in Texas consists only of the union of one man and one woman, will face off next week against Anne Wynne in a debate on the issue.

The debate, set for 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, is sponsored by Austin Community College Student Life, and will be held in the Main Auditorium, Room 201, of the ACC Rio Grande Campus at 1212 Rio Grande in Austin.

Wynne will be representing "No Nonsense in November," a coalition of some 125 organizations and businesses and thousands of individuals working to defeat the Constitutional amendment (#2) that will be on the ballot for Texas voters in November.

Wynne, from Austin, has been a practicing attorney since 1978, specializing in civil litigation, including family law. She now works as a mediator for all civil disputes, with substantial recent experience in family law, divorce, custody, and estate issues.

Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards appointed Wynne as the first woman to serve on both the General Services Commission and Texas Transportation Commission. She is the founder of The Atticus Circle, a group focused on education, policy development and legal advocacy to achieve equality for all parents and partners, regardless of sexual orientation. Chisum, who represents House District 88, was elected to the Texas House in 1988. In the 79th Legislature, he was named Budget and Oversight member of the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee.

When his resolution was heard in the House State Affairs Committee in April, Chisum fielded a number of questions, many from Democrats who alleged that the resolution, if passed, would write discrimination into the State Constitution. Chisum responded that he "can't find anybody that this discriminates against," saying the resolution covers both men and women. "That is discriminatory against no one," he said. When a Democratic lawmaker pointed out the resolution discriminates against homosexuals because the constitution will be against them specifically, Chisum said the bill "does not discriminate against a person, it is against practices."