AUSTIN – Recounting the state’s central place in a decades-long battle, reproductive health care advocates in Texas today called upon the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a draconian law that undermines the court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 establishing the right to abortion. Read More

Advocates at State Affairs Hearing Push Back Against Arguments That Anti-Discrimination Laws Threaten Religious Liberty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN – Religious and civil liberties groups today warned Texas senators that religious freedom has never meant the right to use faith as a weapon to discriminate against others or to ignore laws that everyone else must obey.

Representatives from the various groups spoke at a press conference before a Texas Senate State Affairs Committee hearing on religious freedom today. They countered arguments that individuals and businesses should be able to use their religious beliefs to opt out of or simply refuse to obey anti-discrimination measures and other laws that protect everyone. And they pointed to real threats to religious freedom that should command the committee’s attention.

Kathy Miller, president, Texas Freedom Network “Religious freedom is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. But it’s deeply dishonest when politicians radically redefine that freedom so that individuals and businesses can use religion to discriminate or impose their personal religious beliefs on others. In America we all have the right to equal treatment under the law, regardless of who we are or what we believe.”

Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director,… Read More

Are you ready to Amplify Austin?
by Jake Patoski

The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund has been invited to participate in the fourth annual Amplify Austin — a 24-hour, online philanthropy event.

And anyone, anywhere can participate!

Amplify Austin is a fantastic awareness-building and fundraising opportunity for our organization and cause.

Between 6 p.m. on March 8 and 6 p.m. on March 9, every donation you make to TFN will go even further to support our vital mission.

All you have to do is visit amplifyatx.org/texasfreedomnetwork, click “Donate Now” and make your gift.… Read More

Pseudo-historian and political propagandist David Barton has announced a new edition of The Jefferson Lies, his troubled book about the nation’s third president. Oh boy.

Evangelical publisher Thomas Nelson Publishing ceased publication of The Jefferson Lies in 2012 after scholars pointed to factual inaccuracies and distortions in the book. But Barton turned to WND Books — the publishing arm of the right-wing conspiracy website World Net Daily — to keep the book in the marketplace.

Barton’s Texas-based WallBuilder’s organization announced the release of the new edition in an email on Wednesday:

“The new edition of The Jefferson Lies contains brand new information — over 25,000 more words than the first edition, with 60 more pages and an additional 200 footnotes. Almost 40% of this book is brand new content!”

Golly. Lots of new words and pages. But how many falsehoods and distortions are in the book this time? And did Barton correct any of the old ones? It seems revealing that a reputable publisher didn’t bother to pick up the new edition.

Steven Green, a constitutional scholar, historian and director of the Center for Religion, Law and Democracy at Willamette University in Oregon, reviewed the first edition of Barton’sRead More

Jared Woodfill has a plan to win the chairmanship of the Texas Republican Party this year: rally some of the most viciously anti-LGBT and anti-abortion extremists in support. Naturally, religious-righters are thrilled.

Woodfill, a former Harris County GOP chair, helped craft and lead the reprehensible fear-mongering campaign that succeeded in repealing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) last fall. That ordinance protected LGBT people from discrimination, but Woodfill and other HERO opponents screamed that it would endanger women and children in public bathrooms. (Never mind that Woodfill, an attorney, is defending a man sued for allegedly taking photographs of women changing clothes in a bathroom without their knowledge.)

After the success of the deeply dishonest anti-HERO campaign, Woodfill has now signed on to defend indicted anti-abortion activists who helped make deceptively edited videos attacking Planned Parenthood.

Whether he’s defending discrimination and smearing LGBT people or attacking women’s reproductive freedom, Woodfill has allied himself with the most repugnant creatures on the religious right. You can see that by reading a Houston Press report from a pro-Woodfill, “Take Back the Party” event in Houston last week. Speakers at the gathering bizarrely railed against Republican leaders they are trying to portray as closet liberals.

How bizarre is that? Consider that one of their targets is state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball. Riddle thinks the… Read More

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