Drama in the Texas Lege: Anti-LGBT Discrimination Bill Stopped Again, But Another Fight on the Way

UPDATE, 10 a.m., May 28: State Sen. Eddie Lucio, R-Brownsville, announced Wednesday night that he was withdrawing from Senate consideration the bill he had revised to include language barring state and local officials from providing or recognizing marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Earlier in the day, state Rep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney, passed up a final chance to amend onto an agency sunset bill a measure allowing child welfare service providers that contract with the state to use religion to discriminate in matters involving foster care, adoption and other placement services. The failure of both measures is a major victory for supporters of equality in Texas.

***

Lawmakers filed more than 20 bills promoting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Texans this year. Just one or two remain alive after some drama at the state Capitol Tuesday night. But we can’t stop fighting yet.

Midnight Tuesday was the deadline for the Texas House to pass Senate bills on second reading. As the deadline neared, we prepared for a battle over shameful legislation allowing child welfare agencies that contract with the state to use religion to discriminate. The sponsor of that measure, state Rep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney, had already tried to pass other anti-LGBT legislation. Now he wanted to discriminate against qualified LGBT families that could provide stable, loving homes for children who had been abused and neglected.

But the Texas Freedom Network and our fantastic partners — Equality Texas, ACLU of Texas and the Human Rights Campaign — lobbied hard against Sanford’s plan to amend his discrimination measure onto a bill (SB 206) reauthorizing the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). We alerted the news media and urged activists to contact legislators in opposition. And our work paid off when Sanford’s amendment was persuaded not to bring his amendment to a vote in the House.

But very quickly afterward, the fight shifted to the Senate on the other side of the Capitol. In a sneak attack on equality after 11 p.m., state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, tried to add Sanford’s discrimination amendment to another bill dealing with DFPS. TFN and our partners had already prepared our Senate friends for that possibility — so they were ready.

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, took the lead in opposition, directly challenging the bill’s author and Sen. Campbell. He then used his knowledge of Senate rules to raise an objection that forced Campbell to withdraw her amendment, effectively killing it in that chamber.

We’re relieved, but the fight isn’t over. We’ll be watching for any effort by Sanford to revive his discrimination amendment in the House today.

In addition, the Texas Senate could take up — as soon as today — legislation that would bar state and local officials from licensing, enforcing or recognizing marriage licenses for same-sex couples even if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

Since this outrageous legislation could be heard in the Senate at any minute, it’s important that Texans call their state senators NOW in opposition. Look up your senator’s number here and him or her them to vote against HB 2977 unless the anti-LGBT language is stripped from the bill.

Let’s make sure that when this difficult legislative session ends on Monday, supporters of equality have defeated discrimination at every turn.

6 thoughts on “Drama in the Texas Lege: Anti-LGBT Discrimination Bill Stopped Again, But Another Fight on the Way

  1. Well the Supreme Court is going to rule in favor of same sex marriage so our legislators need to stop all this nonsense. Its disgusting.

  2. When are we going to vote these Neanderthals out of office???? How much more time and money are going to be wasted on these attempts? Wake up, Texas! Giving citizens their rights does not in any way infringe upon yours. Everyone deserves rights, not just those you personally believe in.

  3. Help! I’m a prisoner in a state full of nuts and I have no teeth to eat my way out of it.

    What really disgusts me is the hatred the TEAliban jerks have for people about which they do not understand.

    For the life of me I cannot understand how same-sex marriage will affect anyone other than the partners involved? Of course there is one thing that separates many of us is that we have intelligence, they do not.

    They are so damned superstitious that it is a wonder that they don’t hunt witches. They are identical to the Muslim extremists whose beliefs are so far away from what their religion actually teaches, so the TEAliban (formerly the GOP) take their Christianity and twist and twist and twist it until there is no resemblance to what it really says.

    They refuse to understand that sexuality is fixed prior to birth. Once fixed it cannot be changed no matter how much the individual might wish. To try to punish people for what happened while still gestating is as immoral as anything of which I can conceive. (No pun intended)

    Anyone who has irrational prejudices is mentally ill, why permit mentally ill people to sit in a legislature?

    1. Beverly,

      A true Bible Believing Christian has no alternative other than to call homosexuality sin. This does not make them mentally ill. Nor does it make them haters or prejudiced.
      Now, if they start placing themselves in God’s place then they have a problem. Christians aren’t interested in throwing people off buildings.
      You do prove that the Bible and Christianity are stumbling blocks to those who are perishing. You don’t believe because you choose not to believe.
      As far as being fixed prior to birth since man is troubled in his heart then murderers, thieves, fornicators adulterers, and a whole host of other things are too. This is what is called sin nature. However, through the work of Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary
      men can break the bonds of sin and overcome anything.
      In total, your argument is not going to be with men but rather with a righteous God.

      1. The comparison of LGBT people to “murderers, thieves, fornicators (and) adulterers” is repugnant. Call it whatever you like, but making such comparisons is hateful. You would likely find it hateful if people of another faith compared Christians like you to such vile people as murderers and thieves. Would they get a pass by saying they were simply restating what their religion teaches them about Christians? As much as you seem to decry Christians who put themselves in God’s place as judges, your posts are filled with judgment.

        1. Hi Dan,
          I was speaking of sin nature. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But we can overcome.

          Now to the other I am afraid that the comparison is a Biblical one. They are put in the same category of people who practice wicked things. Is Timothy 1 and I Corinthians 6 give a list of people who won’t inherit the Kingdom and includes all kinds of people who practice (present tense) such things as murder, adultery, thievery, fornication, and other things.
          That is not me talking, that is what the Bible is saying and regardless of what translation it all stays the same.

          My other problem with all this LGBT stuff is that the legislature acts like that is the only thing and if we got rid of it we would have a perfect society. I am of the belief that there are other fish to fry such as school funding and such. What about Human traffickers? Extortionists and fraud? All these are problems that need attention. Why is the only thing that seems to cloud people’s judgement is Same-sex marriage. I am totally opposed to it but if it becomes the law of the land it won’t change my beliefs or the way I treat people.

          What people do in their private life is not a concern to me. If I want a plumber I am not going to ask for political views or social views. If someone is in a car wreck and needs CPR I am not going to ask about any of that. I am going to render aid. That is what the Good Samaritan is all about.

          Same as a teacher. Can the person teach my children what they need to know in order to compete in today’s college and business environment. I teach school and I don’t worry about that with my students. I want them to be successful regardless.

$50,000 matching gift campaign expires at midnight on 12/31!

X