Gay marriage, border security and is the State Guard really being used to repel a July invasion from the North? All those topics were on the table today with Governor Greg Abbott.
With a stroke of his pen Governor Greg Abbott signed into law the Pastor Protection Act. The preachers who stood around him and across the state are now shielded from lawsuits if they do not want to perform a same-sex marriage.
"This is a day that recognizes their constitutional rights and their religious freedom to practice what they preach," said Governor Abbott.
Later at his capitol office Abbott had more to say about the same sex marriage topic. Abbott believes even if the U.S. Supreme Court strike downs gay marriage bans, later this summer, he predicts legal battles will likely continue. And that possibility framed his answer when I asked if he would ever attend a gay marriage.
"You know I haven't attended one. A gay marriage in Texas would be illegal, and so I'd probably would not attend an illegal event."
When asked if the hypothetical wedding took place in a state that allows same sex marriage like Massachusetts, the Governor smiled and said he didn't typically travel there.
As for the recently concluded legislative session, Abbott praised lawmakers for passing tax cuts, pre-k reform, providing more funding for roads and beefing up border security. $800-million will be spent on the campaign that Mexican officials this week said they don't want.
"We are going to be effectively combat the leading cause of this problem. The leading cause of this problem is actually something the country of Mexico is fighting against and that is the cartels," said Abbott.
In regards to another security matter- Abbott also talked about the upcoming Army exercise - known as Jade Helm. The governor was ridiculed earlier this year for ordering the Texas State Guard to monitor the multi-state deployment. Thursday he clarified that the guard's role will be more like a buffer rather than a blockade.
"There may be reasons why people distrust the federal government, or the Commander and Chief, but there is no reason to distrust the United States Military who keep our country safe, and I think we will be able to effectively communicate that"
There are several conspiracy theories about Jade Helm, which includes a federal takeover of Texas to a positioning of troops because of an impending asteroid strike. Abbott dismissed those fears.
"The Unites States military since the time of George Washington until today has stood at the fore front on this, of protecting us from dangers known and unknown. I believe this training exercise will advance our military to keep us even safer."
On another controversial matter governor Abbott said he was happy to sign legislation allowing people with seizures to the use oil from marijuana extract.
"That said, Texas is not going to become a state that either legalizes marijuana or medicinal marijuana," said Governor Abbott.