By Wendy Gragg
Killeen Daily Herald
For the majority of area residents, marriage means one man and one woman.
Residents of Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties, like voters across the state, turned out at the polls Tuesday to express their opinion on gay marriage by voting up or down Proposition 2.
The amendment to the state constitution, easily the most controversial of the nine propositions on Tuesdays ballot, declares that marriage in Texas consists of one man and one woman.
Bell County voters supported Proposition 2 by an overwhelming margin, as of 9 p.m. Tuesday, with all but two precincts totals in. Roughly 82 percent of the votes tallied, or 10,619 residents, supported the amendment. Eighteen percent of the votes counted 2,298 residents were against the marriage amendment.
The Rev. Paul Moore, rector of St. Christophers Episcopal Church in Killeen, who has been vocal about his support of Proposition 2, was pleased with the outcome Tuesday night.
Thats how I voted; thats how I wanted it to be, he said.
Though Moore feels strongly about the gay marriage issue, he said he knows some of his parishioners did not support the proposition and thats OK. Its part of the Episcopal Church to be tolerant of opinions, he said.
Im not going to preach about it, Moore said. Ive got better things to do than preach on that. There are more important things.
Proposition 2 is not the state governments first stand on same-sex marriages. In 2003, the Legislature passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which declares that same-sex unions or marriages are contrary to Texas public policy and void in this state.
With the marriage amendment, Texas joins 17 other states that have taken an official stand against gay marriage.
On the other side of the issue, Vermont legalized same-sex civil unions in 2000 and Massachusetts began granting same-sex marriage licenses in 2004. That same year, the Massachusetts Legislature responded with a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as an opposite-sex union, but established a similar civil union for same-sex couple.
Alma Jean Jackson, director of the Fort Hood area office of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Central Texas, could not be reached Tuesday night, but voiced her opposition to Proposition 2 in a previous Killeen Daily Herald article.
She said if the amendment passed, it would make the homosexual community work even harder to stand up for its rights.
Were not going to give up our rights to live our lives with dignity, she said. They are saying to you ... you have no value in my eyes. I have news for them, I have value in my eyes. They can never change that.
The rest of the results in Bell County as of 9 p.m. were as follows:
n No. 1 For: 5,348; Against: 7,192
n No. 2 For: 10,619; Against: 2,298
n No. 3 For: 6,143; Against: 5,793
n No. 4 For: 10,394; Against: 1,810
n No. 5 For: 5,104; Against: 6,953
n No. 6 For: 7,081; Against: 4,647
n No. 7 For: 6,777; Against: 5,176
n No. 8 For: 7,106; Against: 4,230
n No. 9 For: 5,264; Against: 6,231
In Copperas Cove, residents stood, sat and waited for up to two hours in the line which extended the length of the building and then wrapped around three sides.
With just three workers at the box, the line moved painfully slow to the point where Russs Pizza handed out free pizzas to voters waiting in line.
Coryell County Clerk Barbara Simpson said the 4,256 voters in the election, with more than 1,200 from Cove, almost doubled the number of the last constitutional election in 2003.
The results in Coryell County were as follows:
n No. 1 For: 1,749; Against: 2,238
n No. 2 For: 3,688; Against: 575
n No. 3 For: 1,990; Against: 1,766
n No. 4 For: 3,573; Against: 439
n No. 5 For: 1,549; Against: 2,260
n No. 6 For: 2,127; Against: 1,662
n No. 7 For: 2,002; Against: 1,856
n No. 8 For: 2,276; Against: 1,420
n No. 9 For: 1,505; Against: 2,327
As of 10:30 p.m., Lampasas County officials were still waiting on the early voting totals and the totals from Precincts 2, 3 and 4. The incomplete totals were as follows:
n No. 1 For: 418; Against: 537
n No. 2 For: 860; Against: 146
n No. 3 For: 468; Against: 467
n No. 4 For: 869; Against: 117
n No. 5 For: 374; Against: 578
n No. 6 For: 583; Against: 361
n No. 7 For: 513; Against: 435
n No. 8 For: 599; Against: 300
n No. 9 For: 450; Against: 474
Jacquline Brown contributed to this story.
Contact Wendy Gragg at firstname.lastname@example.org