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

Religious-right groups have use increasingly extreme and even incendiary attacks in their cynical and deeply deceitful campaign against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Now voters can take a stand against hate and discrimination.

Today is the first day for early voting for the November 3 elections, including for Proposition 1 — the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. TFN supports a YES vote for Proposition 1.

But no matter where you live, you can support this critical nondiscrimination ordinance in the state’s largest city.

If you live in Houston, make sure you head to the polls to cast your ballot for equality. Click here for important voting information, including the locations for early voting. Whether you live in Houston or outside the city, the Houston Unites campaign provides a variety of other ways to help — including how to help spread the word to friends and family (especially eligible voters in Houston).

No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or whom they love. HERO protects everyone against discrimination based on race, age, pregnancy, religion, military status, sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics. That’s a core value we all share. Vote YES on Proposition 1.… Read More

Here’s what you need to know about voting in Houston and the most important measure on the ballot. Click here to find an early voting location!

View 2015 Houston early voting locations in a full screen map… Read More

Texas Freedom Network

Is a crisis pregnancy center teaching sex ed at your kid’s school? bit.ly/2vOv9j7 pic.twitter.com/Qyba…

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