According to Capitol Annex "...a Texas state legislator has introduced a bill which appears to be geared toward addressing property issues resulting from the secession of former congregations of the The General Convention of The Episcopal Church in the United States over the ordination of openly gay clergy."
The legislation, House Bill 729 by State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), would direct Texas courts to divide church property “in a manner that the court considers just and right.”
The bill is narrowly crafted only to apply to schisms as a result of doctrinal differences and then only to divisions that result in a unit of an organized denomination’s church or diocese seceding from its ultimate ruling body.
Although evidently geared to address the property concerns of Episcopal Churches who have abandoned the Anglican Communion or the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the U.S., the bill is drafted to apply to any religious organization that qualifies as such under the Texas Tax Code so long as the religious organization is organized “into orders or ranks each subordinate to the one above it,” and specifically mentions churches, synagogues, and mosques.
Read more here.
Information on his district and biography of Representative Cook is here.
Ed. note: The law seems to go out of its way to make clear it's not trying to be
retroactive. Read here.
SECTION 2. This Act applies to a factional separation of a hierarchical religious organization as those terms are defined by Section 30.001, Property Code, as added by this Act, occurring on or after the effective date of this Act. A factional separation of a hierarchical religious organization as those terms are defined by Section 30.001, Property Code, as added by this Act, that occurs before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date that the application was filed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.