Next Anti-LGBT Bill Could Be Stirring in the Texas House

by Dan Quinn

Just weeks after the Texas Senate passed SB17, a sweeping anti-LGBT discrimination bill, state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, has a message for fellow lawmakers: My bill is even more extreme.

*UPDATE*

The State Affairs Committee approved a revised version of HB3172 this evening. We are currently analyzing the revised bill.

***

We are increasingly concerned that the Texas House State Affairs Committee could soon bring up Rep. Krause’s HB3172, which goes even further than SB17. SB17 seeks to protect state-licensed professionals who use religion to justify refusing services to LGBT Texans. Rep. Krause’s bill would, among other things, grant any business in the state such a license to discriminate.

The bill could also limit the ability of public institutions to combat discrimination in other ways. For example, the head of a campus group could look to the bill to justify refusing membership to or otherwise discriminating against LGBT students or anyone else on religious grounds.

Even worse, HB3172 would essentially force taxpayers to subsidize discrimination. Under the bill’s provisions, local governments and state agencies would be barred from refusing to contract with a business that discriminates on religious grounds. And a business could cite its religious beliefs in seeking “compensatory damages” and attorney’s fees from any a city or county that seeks to enforce an ordinance or local policy protecting LGBT Texans from discrimination.

It’s important to contact House State Affairs Committee members and urge them to oppose HB3172 if it comes  before them.

Rep. Dade Phelan (chair), (512) 463-0706
Rep. Ana Hernandez (vice chair), (512) 463-0614
Rep. Joe Deshotel, (512) 463-0662
Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, (512) 463-0578
Rep. Sam Harless, (512) 463-0496
Rep. Justin Holland, (512) 463-0484
Rep. Todd Hunter, (512) 463-0672
Rep. Phil King, (512) 463-0738
Rep. Tan Parker, (512) 463-0688
Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, (512) 463-0558
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, (512) 463-0674
Rep. John T. Smithee, 512) 463-0702
Rep. Drew Springer, (512) 463-0526

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