It’s been clear for a long time now that the pro-discrimination activists trying to kill the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) simply can’t be trusted to tell the truth. Their deceitful campaign has been filled with wild distortions and mistruths. So we’re not really surprised that Bob McNair, owner of the NFL’s Houston Texans, just announced that he is asking the anti-HERO campaign to return his recent donation to them. McNair released the following statement (emphasis added by TFN):

I recently made a personal contribution to Campaign for Houston because my thorough review of the HERO ordinance led me to believe that a thoughtful rewrite would provide a better ordinance that would provide strong non-discrimination protections for all Houstonians, which I would support, and would be less divisive of our city.

It was on these principles that I made my personal contribution to Campaign for Houston. To my great dismay, Campaign for Houston made numerous unauthorized statements about my opposition to HERO in print, broadcast and social media – including attributing certain statements of belief to me. Their actions and statements were never discussed with nor approved by me. Therefore I instructed the Campaign to… Read More

By Rabbi Neal Katz

As a rabbi, my faith is supremely important in my life. That’s why it’s painful for me to see religion used as a tool to harm or discriminate.

But it happens. And sadly here in Texas, some of our state leaders are even encouraging this misuse of religion.

Today, I’m happy to tell you about a new initiative TFN and the ACLU of Texas are launching to identify and address these issues. We have created a website to collect the stories of religious discrimination in our state to better understand the scope of this problem. All information on the website will remain private. If a government official or private business in Texas has used religion to discriminate against you or someone you know, we want to hear your story.

Nobody should ever be turned away from a business or government office, refused service or evicted from their home simply because they don’t share another person’s religious beliefs or because of who they are or whom they love. That discrimination distorts the real meaning of religious liberty.

If you agree, help us get the word out about this important initiative byRead More

Joint Press Release from the Texas Freedom Network and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas

CIVIL LIBERTIES GROUPS WARN AGAINST ‘RELIGIOUS REFUSAL’ LAWS 

TFN, ACLU of Texas Announce Effort to Track Instances of Religious Refusals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 20, 2015

Two leading civil and religious liberties organizations in Texas are warning against efforts by elected officials to misuse religion to defend discrimination in the state. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the Texas Freedom Network announced today an effort to track instances of religious refusals by government officials and businesses. Individuals can report such instances at www.texansequalunderlaw.com/story.

Efforts to carve out special religious exemptions to state and local laws designed to protect the common good – especially nondiscrimination measures – distort the true meaning of religious liberty and put all Texans at risk, said Rebecca Marques, policy and advocacy strategist for the ACLU of Texas.

“Religious freedom is one of our fundamental rights as Americans,” Marques said. “That’s why we protect it in our Constitution. But religious freedom doesn’t give anyone the right to refuse to obey laws that everyone else must obey or to discriminate against… Read More

We just sent out this press release with our partners at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas:

Two leading civil and religious liberties organizations in Texas are warning against efforts by elected officials to misuse religion to defend discrimination in the state. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the Texas Freedom Network announced today an effort to track instances of religious refusals by government officials and businesses. Individuals can report such instances at www.texansequalunderlaw.com/story.

Efforts to carve out special religious exemptions to state and local laws designed to protect the common good – especially nondiscrimination measures – distort the true meaning of religious liberty and put all Texans at risk, said Rebecca Marques, policy and advocacy strategist for the ACLU of Texas.

“Religious freedom is one of our fundamental rights as Americans,” Marques said. “That’s why we protect it in our Constitution. But religious freedom doesn’t give anyone the right to refuse to obey laws that everyone else must obey or to discriminate against or harm others.”

Earlier this month Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asked state senators to recommend allowing government officials and employees, other individuals and businesses… Read More

Well this is a bit of a surprise.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, speaking to Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith on Friday, pretty much said that if Kim Davis or someone like her doesn’t want to do her job, she can quit. In yet another surprise, Patrick added that, though he disagrees with it, the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing same-sex marriages is now the law of the land. The comments are a departure from his fellow Texas religious-righters who have spent months calling the ruling “lawless” and cheering for Davis to both keep her taxpayer-funded paycheck and the right to discriminate against committed same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses from her taxpayer-funded office.

Applause for the the lieutenant guv? Hold on. It may be he only said so because he painted himself into a rhetorical corner. Here’s how it went down.

Patrick’s comments came during a long conversation with Smith at the start of this year’s TribFest. The two were chatting about a law going into effect next year that will allow concealed handguns on the state’s college campuses. Smith pointed out that some professors have expressed opposition to the law. Here, according to the Austin American-Statesman,… Read More

Chuck Lindell

BREAKING: US judge tosses out Texas law limiting second-trimester abortions. #txlege

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