Texas SB 522 Allows County Clerks to Discriminate Against Virtually Anyone

by Dan Quinn

The Texas Senate State Affairs Committee today heard testimony on yet another of the 17 proposed bills that would allow the use of religion to discriminate against LGBT Texans. But the bill is so broad that it would allow public officials to discriminate against virtually anyone. We just sent out the following press release:

TFN PRESIDENT: SB 522 ALLOWS COUNTY CLERKS TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST VIRTUALLY ANYONE

Senate State Affairs Committee Hears Testimony on Yet Another of 17 Bills Allowing the Use of Religion to Discriminate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2017

Following is a statement from Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller on the consideration of SB 522 by the Senate State Affairs Committee today:

“Even as North Carolina lawmakers continue to struggle with the economic disaster created by the passage of its discriminatory HB 2, the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee today heard testimony on yet another of 17 bills that would allow government officials, private individuals and businesses to use their personal religious beliefs to discriminate against LGBT Texans.

SB 522 would permit county officials and employees to refuse to issue marriage licenses to couples to whom they have personal religious objections. It’s awful enough that this bill clearly targets same-sex couples. But the bill is so broad it would also allow public officials to discriminate against virtually any Texan.

This bill makes a mockery of religious freedom by allowing public officials to discriminate against virtually anyone who fails to meet their personal moral standards. That could include same-sex couples but also people who have been previously divorced, couples who have lived together outside of marriage, interfaith couples and many others. Even worse, taxpayers would be forced to continue paying the salaries of these officials when they refuse to do their jobs and even discriminate against those very taxpayers.”

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