Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for Texas governor, said Thursday that she supports gay marriage and called on Attorney General Greg Abbott to stop defending the Texas Constitution's definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
Davis told the San Antonio Express-News editorial board that two people who want to marry should be allowed to do so regardless of their sexual orientation. She said if elected she would support the repeal of the voter-approved constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage.
She spoke the day after a federal judge in San Antonio heard arguments that the ban on gay marriage violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Same-sex marriage is legal in 17 states and federal lawsuits have been filed in 24 states.
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"I think that what we see happening at the federal level in terms of constitutional interpretations on that provide some hope that it may be found unconstitutional," Davis said.
Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch said Davis was mimicking President Barack Obama's style of governing.
"Unlike Senator Davis' positions on the issues, the Texas Constitution is not subject to change on the latest whims of the day," Hirsch said. Abbott, the likely Republican nominee for governor, opposes same-sex marriage and has said he will defend the Texas law to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
Davis was in San Antonio Thursday for a joint appearance with Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to discuss her campaign promise to expand state-funded pre-kindergarten classes to a full day for all children who qualify.
"San Antonio is leading the way, providing full-day, quality pre-K. The opportunities that are happening right here in the Alamo city should be available to children all across Texas," Davis said.
Abbott's campaign has said he will announce his plan for public education in the next few weeks.