The freedom to marry became the law of the land, even here in Texas, in June of 2015. But the fight for equality didn’t end there. Texas remains a state where LGBTQ individuals can be fired from their job, denied a place to live or refused service at a business simply because of who they are or whom they love.  Far-right activists and politicians continue to work to preserve the right to discriminate and roll back gains made by the LGBTQ community at the local level.

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The Latest on LGBTQ Rights

Using Religion as a Weapon: The Truth Behind the Right’s Cynical Pro-Discrimination Campaign

It's been clear to observers over the last year that opponents of LGBT equality have cynically shifted their rhetoric from attacking same-sex marriage to promoting "religious liberty" as an excuse to discriminate. Now the website Five Thirty Eight details this shift. Read More

Today’s hearing of the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee was billed as an examination of how to protect religious liberty, but it was really about what we expected it would be: justifying discrimination against LGBT people. In fact, halfway through the hearing, it became clear that religious-right activists and committee members were especially interested in relitigating last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

One after another, religious-righters and other conservative activists went before the committee to make a variety of argument that, boiled down, were essentially the following:

They have the to ignore laws that offend their religious beliefs. They have the right use their religious beliefs as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people. The U.S. Supreme Court is a tyrannical institution that, particularly on the issue of marriage, has demonstrated no respect for God, country and Constitution.

If you’re interested, you can watch an archived video recording of the hearing here. The hearing went from 9 a.m. to nearly 12:30.

Shortly before the hearing, the Texas Freedom Network and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas held a press briefing at the Texas Capitol to talk about real threats to religious liberty in… 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

We told you last week about Jared Woodfill’s coming bid for chair of the Texas Republican Party. He made the official announcement at an event hosted by Houston hate-monger Steve Hotze’s Conservative Republicans of Texas organization. The anti-LGBT rhetoric at the event was so vile that it appeared to make some of the folks even in that audience uncomfortable. The following article about the event is republished here with permission from Quorum Report, a widely respected, Austin-based website that focuses on Texas political news. Quorum Report’s Scott Braddock wrote it.

HOUSTON – A day after once again stepping onto the national political stage by inserting himself into the Planned Parenthood video fight, former Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill on Thursday evening formally announced he is running to lead the Republican Party of Texas. He is running alongside Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams, who has announced for Vice Chair.

The announcement came as part of archconservative activist Steve Hotze’s first annual Conservative Republicans of Texas Dinner – an evening focused on opposition to the “homosexual movement” and railing against Texas House leadership under Speaker Joe Straus.

The long-expected announcement by Woodfill came after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took to… Read More

Support equality for LGBTQ Texans
by Jake Patoski

The freedom to marry became the law of the land, even here in Texas, in June of 2015. But the fight for equality didn’t end there. Texas remains a state where LGBTQ individuals can be fired from their job, denied a place to live or refused service at a business simply because of who they are or whom they love. Far-right activists and politicians continue to work to preserve the right to discriminate and roll back gains made by the LGBTQ community at the local level.

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Any bill that carries the expectation that every Texan needs a birth certificate to use the restroom is an unenforceable bill. #TXLege

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