Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller just issued the following statement following today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down state bans on same-sex marriage:
“Today’s historic court decision for the freedom to marry joins other landmark rulings that have moved this country closer to the Constitution’s promise of equality under the law for all Americans. This is a truly life-affirming moment for so many gay and lesbian couples who want to make the same lifetime commitment to the person they love and protect their families the same way everyone else does.
Now all public officials in Texas should carry out their duty to uphold the Constitution by swiftly implementing this decision. No obstruction. No excuses. No politics.
We have seen in recent months a large and growing number of Texans, including business and faith leaders, rise in opposition to discrimination against LGBT people and their families. They have rejected the cynical and dishonest political argument that freedom from discrimination somehow conflicts with religious liberty. Both clearly can coexist.
In fact, today’s decision is an important affirmation of religious freedom. It does not force clergy to perform same-sex weddings. But it does respect clergy whose faith calls on them to celebrate and honor the marriages of gay and lesbian couples as well as marriages of straight couples. They have been blessing same-sex unions for years. Now those marriages will also be recognized in law.
But while we celebrate today’s court ruling, we should remember that gay and transgender people in much of Texas can still be fired from their jobs, denied housing or refused public services simply because of who they are and whom they love. Texas is better than that. Work is still needed to ensure that marriage equality blossoms into broader equality for LGBT Texans. So today we call on our state’s leaders to move forward with legislation protecting all Texans from unfair discrimination.”
Texas lawmakers in the recently ended legislative session debated whether the state should obey a Supreme Court decision for the freedom to marry. But six bills designed to subvert this ruling failed to pass the Legislature. Additional bills allowing the use of religion to discriminate against gay and lesbian families also failed.
The Supreme Court ruling also comes as the Texas Freedom Network celebrates its 20th anniversary. TFN has been and remains a strong supporter of equality for LGBT Texans and their families.