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Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller issued the following statement on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s announcement that his office will file a legal challenge to the Obama administration’s directive that public school districts protect transgender students from discrimination.

“It is shameful that Attorney General Paxton has decided to use the power of his office to join the lieutenant governor in bullying transgender students in our public schools. There have been more criminal charges filed against Paxton than there have been cases – zero, in fact – of transgender people using non-discrimination policies as an excuse to enter public restrooms to commit assaults, but that fact doesn’t seem to be stopping top state elected officials from stoking irrational fears about a problem that doesn’t exist and stigmatizing transgender children. The Obama administration’s directive simply asks school districts to acknowledge a student’s gender identity and shield them from discrimination.”

Far-right politicians and political activists have used bathroom access issues to target non-discrimination policies across the country that protect everyone, including LGBT individuals. Last year in Houston, the same fear-tactics were used to overturn the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance. And in North Carolina, the state legislature passed legislation to overturn a… Read More

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller released the following statement regarding tonight’s loss by Mary Lou Bruner in the runoff for the Republican nomination for State Board of Education District 9:

“Texas escaped an education train wreck tonight. If Bruner had ultimately won election to the board, she would have instantly become the most embarrassingly uninformed and divisive member on a board that already too often puts politics ahead of making sure our kids get a sound education. We commend the majority of East Texas voters for their wisdom in this particular race.”

The State Board of Education sets curriculum standards and adopts textbooks for the state’s more than 5 million public school students.

The victor in the GOP runoff was Keven Ellis, a chiropractor and president of the school board in the East Texas town of Lufkin. Bruner, a retired educator from Mineola, drew national attention to the race with outrageous statements made on her Facebook page, in public forums and in media interviews. Among them:… Read More

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

Clergy Sign Open Letter as Federal Judge Prepares to Hear Lawsuit over Medicaid Funding Ban for Health Care Services at Planned Parenthood Clinics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 10, 2015

Clergy from diverse faith traditions across Texas are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to stop interfering with the freedom of women to see providers of their choice for health screenings, family planning and other reproductive health care services.

“Women have a moral and legal right to decide for themselves which health care providers they will see,” said the Rev. Valda Jean Combs, an associate minister at Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston. “As faith leaders in our communities, we cannot be silent when politicians interfere with that freedom and risk leaving vulnerable women without access to the basic care they need and deserve.”

Combs is one of more than 50 faith leaders who have signed on to an open letter to Gov. Abbott on the issue. Today’s public release of the letter, which is available at justtx.org/medicaid, comes as Gov. Abbott tries to enforce a ban on Medicaid funding for health care services provided at Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit challenging… Read More

Pastors for Children

#txlege Senate to House: "We will starve your schools until you let us privatize them." bit.ly/2wgJUKQ @newsjournal @TFN

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