Our campaign to stop discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Texans took another important step forward today. Along with our partners at Equality Texas and the ACLU of Texas, we stood with the state’s major business organization as well as a number of lawmakers at a Capitol press conference warning the Legislature against passing 20 bills promoting anti-LGBT discrimination. Here’s our joint press release with Equality Texas and the ACLU of Texas:

Texas lawmakers and the head of the Texas Association of Business joined with civil liberties organizations today in warning against bills filed this year that promote discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Texans, arguing that our state risks a backlash similar to that seen in Indiana and Arkansas.

Speaking at a Texas Capitol press conference this morning, Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, spoke on behalf of legislators worried about at least 20 bills that would allow, promote or even require discrimination against LGBT Texans. Bill Hammond, president of the conservative Texas Association of Business, joined the legislators to emphasize business opposition to such discrimination. Representatives from Equality Texas, the Texas Freedom Network and the ACLU of Texas also expressed legal and civil… Read More

The State Affairs Committee of the Texas of Representatives on Wednesday is set to hear testimony on one of the 20 bills in the current legislative session that promote discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Texans. House Bill 4105 by state Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, would bar state and local officials from issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Texas ban on same-sex marriage.

Supporters of HB 4105 claim that they’re just trying to ensure that Texas retains “sovereignty” over marriage and the right to “define” marriage as a union between one man and one woman. But they’re using it as yet an opportunity to bash LGBT people as evil and perverted. See, for example, this appalling excerpt in a “Legislative Alert” today from the right-wing group Texas Eagle Forum:

The idea that homosexuals could marry is a ‘mirage.’ It is a counterfeit and a lie. It is wrong, first and foremost, because it violates God’s Divine Law in the Bible, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Secondly, it violates natural… Read More

First things first: a big round of applause for Texas Monthly‘s R.G. Ratcliffe, who dug up this info. We encourage you to venture over to the magazine’s website to ready his piece.

Here are some interesting numbers Ratcliffe dug up:

75758: 180 75756: 74 75770: 55 75763: 61 75751: 46* 75148: 100 75124: 63 75143: 91 75158: 49 75142: 67 75160: 97 75126: 67 75161: 35* 75114: 34* 75147: 18* 75778: 24*

Random numbers? No. As you probably guessed, the first number is a zip code. The number after the zip code is the number of teen pregnancies per 1,000 teenagers in that zip code. The asterisk indicates a teen pregnancy rate for that zip code that is below the average rate for the entire state, which is 47 for every 1,000 teenagers. Only 5 of those 16 zip codes are below the state’s rate.

What all those zip codes have in common is that they’re in the state House district represented by Rep. Stuart Spitzer, R-Kaufman.

A couple of nights ago, during the House debate on the state budget, Spitzer drew plenty of attention… Read More

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller is condemning offensive comments from Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, that equate allowing individuals and businesses to use religion to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Texans with protecting Jewish and gay shop owners from serving people who hate them. Here’s the press release we just sent out:

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller is condemning offensive comments from Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, that equate allowing individuals and businesses to use religion to discriminate with protecting Jewish and gay shop owners from serving people who hate them. TFN is issuing the following statement from Miller:

“Making such bizarre and wildly offensive comparisons to justify passing a bill that allows people to use religion as a weapon to discriminate is beyond cynical. Even worse is that Rep. Krause callously ignores the real-life consequences of reopening the door to the kind of unfair and cruel discrimination our country rightly turned its back on decades ago. His bill could lead to individuals being denied jobs, housing and even public services we all take for granted simply because of who they are and whom they love. And… Read More

Indiana’s anti-LGBT discrimination has been hot news since last week. But Texas is in a league of its own when it comes to anti-LGBT discrimination legislation this year. We just sent out this joint press release with Equality Texas and the ACLU of Texas:

While outrage grows over potential discrimination allowed by religious refusal laws in Indiana and other states, Texas lawmakers are considering at least 20 bills in the current legislative session that would subject lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to discrimination and even criminal prosecution.

“As troubling as the laws in Indiana and elsewhere truly are, Texas is in a league of its own when it comes to legislative efforts to legitimize and in some cases even mandate discrimination against its LGBT residents,” said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network. “Supporters of this avalanche of cruel, mean-spirited bills cynically declare that they should have the freedom to discriminate while ignoring the real-life consequences for people who, simply because of who they are and whom they love, could lose their jobs or homes or be denied public services that others take for granted. I’m certain most Texans don’t… Read More