Texas lawmakers are still — still! — trying everything they can to undo the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that made the freedom to marry legal nationwide.
Senate Bill 522 by state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Ganbury, allows county officials and employees to refuse to issue marriage licenses to couples to whom they have personal religious objections. That could include same-sex couples but also people who have been previously divorced, couples who have lived together outside of marriage, interfaith couples and many others. Even worse, taxpayers would be forced to continue paying the salaries of these officials when they refuse to do their jobs and even discriminate against those very taxpayers.
The bill is headed for a vote by the full Texas Senate. Call your senator and tell them to oppose discriminatory bill.
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When you call, tell your senator:
- SB 522 promotes taxpayer-funded discrimination by allowing county clerks and other public officials and employees to refuse to issue marriage licenses to virtually ANY couples to whose marriage they might have personal religious objections.
- SB 522 would allow public officials and employees to use their personal religious beliefs to refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Doing so would create special obstacles or delays that other couples would not face.
- Under SB 522, county taxpayers would still be on the hook to pay the salaries of public officials and employees who refuse to do their jobs. But they could also be forced to pay private contractors to issue marriage licenses.
- Passing any bill that justifies or promotes discrimination against LGBT people would bring the same economic backlash to Texas that has cost thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development in North Carolina and other states with similar laws.