Wednesday at the Capitol: An All-Out Attack on LGBT Texans

by TFN

YallMeansAllCommittees in both chambers of the Texas Legislature will consider discriminatory legislation Wednesday, one taking up its version of the bathroom bill and the other considering a bill that would discriminate against LGBT families in foster care and adoptive placements.

We need a show of force. Come to the Capitol and join the chorus of voices demanding equality.

If you plan to join us, click here to RSVP on Facebook

Here’s what you need to know:

(Click here to jump to the child welfare bill.)

 

House ‘Bathroom Bill’ (HB 2899)

HB 2899 will be heard by the House Committee on State Affairs on Wednesday, April 19, in room 140 of the John H. Reagan building, which is located on the north end of the Texas Capitol grounds. The hearing will start at 10:30 a.m. or on adjournment on the House floor. Because the committee is scheduled to hear other bills, the exact time HB 2899 will be heard is not known.

If you simply want to register your position on the bill or provide written testimony without speaking at the hearing, you can register at one of the electronic kiosks outside the hearing room.

How to testify:

  • If you also want to submit written testimony, give 20 copies to the committee clerk with your name on each copy.
  • We expect the hearing room will be full. So be prepared to wait a while for your turn to testify.

You can expect the committee to hear from some of the most vile and offensive anti-LGBT lobbyists and activists in the state.

If you plan to join us for this hearing, click here to RSVP on Facebook

 

What HB 2899 does

HB 2899 is just as insidious as SB 6, which has already passed the Senate.

HB 2899 started as a broad discrimination bill that nullified all nondiscrimination ordinances. Simmons has said he intends to modify it to nullify local nondiscrimination protections, those already in place and any future ordinances, but only with respect to bathrooms, showers or changing facilities. The mechanism of HB 2899 is different than SB 6, but the outcome is the same: discrimination against LGBT Texans.

TFN fact sheet will be available here soon.

 

What you can tell the committee

Please give your name and your hometown when you start your testimony so that committee members know that people are coming from all over the state. The key message is that this bill is discrimination.
Here are some suggested talking points for preparing your testimony. Please limit your remarks to 2-3 minutes.

  • This is a bill in search of a problem. Entering a public restroom to harm someone is already a crime. Scores of cities and states across the country, including cities in Texas, already protect the freedom of transgender people to use restrooms that are appropriate for them. None have reported any increase in public safety issues.
  • If this bill passes, transgender Texans would face the impossible choice of breaking the law or putting themselves at risk by using a restroom that clearly doesn’t accord with their appearance and gender identity. Many would be forced to avoid public spaces altogether.
  • This bill is a step backwards and will strip many transgender Texans of existing protections – because the legislation bans municipalities from setting their own nondiscrimination protections in places like restrooms.

TFN fact sheet will be available here soon.

 

Amplify on social media

Share this post and other information about HB 2899 on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Use the hashtags #StopHB2899 and #YallMeansAll.

 

 

Discrimination in Child Welfare (SB 892)

On the Senate side, Senate Bill 892 by state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, will get consideration.

SB 892 will be heard by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on Wednesday, April 19, in the Senate Chamber in the Texas Capitol building. The hearing begins at 8 a.m. Because the committee is scheduled to hear other bills, the exact time SB 892 will be heard is not known. If you’re planning to testify, there’s a possibility the hearing could run later into the day.

How to testify:

  • If you simply want to register your position on the bill or provide written testimony without speaking at the hearing, you can register at one of the electronic kiosks outside the hearing room.
  • If you also want to submit written testimony, give 20 copies to the committee clerk with your name on each copy.
  • We expect the hearing room will be full. So be prepared to wait a while for your turn to testify.

 

What SB 892 does

SB 892 is the Senate’s version of a bill (HB 3859) recently passed by a House committee. SB 892 would allow child welfare providers that contract with the state to discriminate against LGBT families in foster care and adoptive placements.

Efforts to authorize state-sanctioned discrimination purportedly to protect religious freedom would put vulnerable children at serious risk. The primary consideration for a child welfare services provider should always be the best interests of the child – not advancing a sectarian belief or political agenda. Texas should not place the religious beliefs of the provider ahead of children’s needs.

It is anticipated that Sen. Perry will substitute the text of HB 3859 for SB 892 at the beginning of the hearing, making the two bills identical.

Click here for some background on the bill and suggested talking points for your testimony. The committee will limit testimony to 3 minutes.

 

What you can tell the committee

Please give your name and your hometown when you start your testimony so that committee members know that people are coming from all over the state. The key message is that this bill is discrimination.

Download the TFN fact sheet

 

Amplify on social media

Share this post and other information about SB 892 on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Use the hashtags #YallMeansAll and #txlege.

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