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

A Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial today says it's past time for Texas legislators to remove from the law books the state's sodomy statute, which the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 2003. Two bills, HB 604 by state Rep. Jessica Farrar and HB 2156 by state Rep. Garnet Coleman, would repeal the sodomy statute. They also would strike from state law a requirement that educational materials intended for students younger than 18 years of age, or materials related to sex education and sexually transmitted disease, state that homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense. The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee is scheduled to hear public testimony on HB 604 and HB 2156 on April 5. The Texas Freedom Network supports passage of these bills. In addition to cleaning up our penal code and removing discriminatory and unconstitutional language, passage of this legislation would help ensure that Texas students aren't taught lies in their classrooms. In fact, a 2009 report from the TFN Education Fund found that some abstinence-only programs inaccurately teach students that sodomy is still illegal in Texas. So why haven't…… Read More

A March 4 e-mail from the Houston Area Pastor Council demonstrates the religious right's insistence that our nation's laws be based on narrow religious beliefs. The e-mail features an essay by a pastor who argues that President Obama is guilty of pitting "the Constitution against the bible on a matter of fundamental human morality."…… Read More

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller testified yesterday at a Texas House Public Education Committee hearing (archived video of the hearing here) in support of legislation to help schools better protect their students from bullying. Tragically, unrelenting harassment and bullying have led some Texas students -- like 13-year-old Asher Brown last September -- to take their own lives. Religious-right groups opposed to the bill, however, decided to put politics ahead of protecting Texas students from harm. Read More

Few of us would disagree that we have a duty to keep children safe, and that means we are all invested in ensuring that our schools provide a safe learning environment.

That is why we’re pleased to see that HB 224 — proposed anti-bullying legislation filed by State Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin — has been scheduled for a public hearing in the House Committee on Public Education next Tuesday. If it becomes law, Rep. Strama’s bill would provide educators and school administrators the kind of comprehensive tools they need to stop bullying in its tracks and, hopefully, prevent the kind of unfortunate and tragic cases of teen suicides we have all read about in the past year.

Our friends at Equality Texas can give you a snapshot of the problem, and the reasons why it demands a response from our lawmakers. Surveys conducted by EQTX have shown that 39 percent of Texas students have reported being verbally harassed, and 17 percent reported being physically harassed or assaulted. Equally troubling are the reasons for the abuse, which include race/ethnicity, gender and perceptions about the student’s sexuality. More on this legislation after the jump. Here is just some… Read More

by Jose Medina

Our friends and partners at Equality Texas have asked us to pass along an invitation to TFN members, and we are more than happy to do so. Equality Texas is hosting a lobby day coming up on Monday, March 7, to push for inclusive policies that protect all children, end discrimination and strengthen relationships.

Here are the details:

Equality Texas Lobby Day: All roads to equality lead to the Texas Capitol

Monday, March 7 (Breakfast and check-in begin at 7:30 a.m.) Meet at First United Methodist Church Family Life Center (FUMC) 1300 Lavaca Street Austin, TX. 78701

Registration for Equality Texas Lobby Day is free, but advanced registration is required. A full schedule of activities and registration information can be found here.

And don’t forget, TFN Lobby Day is also only a few weeks away (March 21).

 

(7)  Science concepts. The student knows evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life. The student is expected to:… Read More

SIECUS

Once 👏🏾 in 👏🏼 a 👏 generation 👏🏽 Check out how @TFN is working hard to update Texas's sex education standards! 👇🏽rewire.news/article/…