CONTACT: For press inquiries, to set up interviews or to sign up for e-mail press releases, please e-mail TFN Communications Director Dan Quinn or call 512-322-0545.
TFN STUDENT ACTIVISTS JOIN OCT. 29 VOTER TURNOUT EVENT
UH-Downtown Event Seeks to Boost Turnout Among Students
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 27, 2015
Members of the Texas Freedom Network chapter at the University of Houston-Downtown will join student government and other groups at the school on Oct. 29 in a joint effort to get young people to the polls for the November 3 election.
“Walk 2 Vote” is an annual event sponsored by UHD’s Student Government Association and designed to boost voter turnout among students. Voters this year will be deciding city government races as well as whether to approve the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and other ballot propositions.
HERO protects all Houstonians from discrimination based on race, age, gender, orientation, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military status and other characteristics.
“Young people as a group are among the least likely to vote in Texas,” said Ali Gorczynski, TFN’s outreach and field coordinator in Houston. “But our votes could be critical in deciding whether Houston remains the only major city in Texas without a comprehensive civil rights ordinance that protects everyone from discrimination.”
“Walk 2 Vote” is set for… Read 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
TFN PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO NEWS ABOUT NEW TEXAS TEXTBOOK CONTROVERSY OVER SLAVERY, MIGRATION
Deeply Flawed and Politicized Textbook Adoption Process Makes This Controversy Unsurprising, Miller Says
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 5, 2015
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller responded today to reports about how a new high school geography textbook mischaracterizes the slave trade as simply a migration of workers in American history:
“First of all, we are encouraged that the publisher is correcting this passage downplaying the history of slavery in the United States. But it’s no accident that this happened in Texas. We have a textbook adoption process that’s so politicized and so flawed that it’s become almost a punch line for comedians. The truth is that too many elected officials who oversee that process are less interested in accurate, fact-based textbooks than they are in promoting their own political views in our kids’ classrooms. So when they review these textbooks, they don’t even recognize distortions that mislead students and that drive scholars nuts.”
Miller’s comments come after publisher McGraw-Hill Education said that it will revise a passage in its new geography textbook that discusses migration in American history. The problematic passage refers to African slaves brought… Read More
NEW REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH & JUSTICE ‘ARTIVISM’ PROJECT LAUNCHES IN TEXAS
‘Illuminate RJ’ Uses Art to Communicate Reproductive Justice and Abortion Experiences
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 31, 2015
Illuminate RJ, a new project that uses art as activism to create a Texas-specific narrative about reproductive justice and abortion, launched in Austin today with an event that features poet and activist Sonya Renee Taylor.
Illuminate RJ is a collaboration by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, Shift., and the NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Foundation. The groups say the goal of Illuminate RJ is to break the silence and start an open dialogue around abortion by working with communities around the state to share their experiences through an artistic lens.
“Art is a powerful medium that can motivate people to action and inspire change,” said Val Benavidez, outreach and field director of the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund. “In this case, we’re using it to share our experiences with the aim of lifting up the voices of Texans who wish to share their reproductive justice and abortion experiences.”
“Texans are hurting from the constant attacks on their access to reproductive health care, but they’re fighting back,” Heather Busby, executive director of the NARAL… Read More
TFN PRESIDENT EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT IN ABBOTT’S SBOE CHAIR CHOICE
Bahorich Appointment Almost Guarantees Continued Culture War Battles at SBOE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 18, 2015
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller is expressing disappointment in Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision, announced today, to appoint State Board of Education member Donna Bahorich, R-Houston, as board chair:
“If Gov. Abbott wanted to demonstrate that he won’t continue his predecessor’s efforts to politicize and undermine our state’s public schools, this appointment falls far short. The governor has appointed as board chair an ideologue who voted to adopt new textbooks that scholars sharply criticized as distorting American history, who rejected public education for her own family and who supports shifting tax dollars from neighborhood public schools to private and religious schools through vouchers. This appointment almost guarantees that the board will continue to put culture war agendas ahead of educating more than 5 million Texas kids.”
In 2013, her first year on the board, Bahorich voted against a resolution urging the Legislature to reject private school vouchers. Bahorich also homeschooled her three sons and then sent them to private and religious school. The board adopted controversial new social studies textbooks in 2014.
The… Read More