Texas Gay Marriage Bill Dies in House

Republican-backed legislation to put new blockades on same-sex marriage in Texas died in the statehouse on Friday after failing to win approval by a midnight deadline amid stalling tactics by the Democratic minority. The bill, called the "Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act," would block clerk's offices in the state's 254 counties from using tax money to issue licenses for same-sex weddings. Socially conservative backers have said the measure allows the state to exert its rights regarding marriage. The bill's demise comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide next month whether same-sex marriage will be legal nationwide. About a decade ago, voters in the largely conservative state overwhelmingly approved a Texas constitutional amendment that only allows marriage between a man and a woman. State Republican leaders have said they will fight to enforce the ban on same-sex marriage.