This is hardly a coincidence. The State Affairs Committee of the Texas Senate has scheduled a public hearing for Senate Bill 6, the transgender discrimination bill, on the same day that a parade of prominent anti-LGBT speakers will join Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton at a so-called "Pastors' Briefing" at the Texas Capitol. Read More

Religious-righters claim that barring discrimination against LGBT people violates their religious freedom to, well, discriminate against people they don’t like. Now Tony Perkins, head of the national organization Family Research Council (FRC), is arguing that Christians who support LGBT equality don’t deserve religious freedom themselves.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Perkins’ FRC as an anti-gay hate group. Speaking on the FRC’s May 8 radio program Washington Week, Perkins revealed himself also to be a religious bigot. He suggested that Christians who support marriage equality don’t have “orthodox religious viewpoints” and, therefore, have no legitimate claim to religious freedom:

“I would use that term ‘Christian’ loosely. That title is — let’s talk biblical, here’s the deal, it’s like with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that we worked on in Mississippi and failed in Arizona and other places, here’s a test of what is a true religious freedom, a freedom that’s based on orthodox religious viewpoints. It has to have a track record, it has to come forth from religious orthodoxy.

You cannot point to the Christian faith and say that same-sex marriage has been a key teaching of the church. You can only point to the opposite, that the church has stood against… Read More

The folks at Family Research Council — who helped organize Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s August 2011 prayer extravaganza in Houston — apparently think lying is a perfectly acceptable part of the “Christian worldview” it seeks to promote in public policy. In an email today, the FRC asks its supporters to help stop implementation of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s alleged efforts to “crush freedom.” It’s a standard right-wing screech, but we’re a little surprised to see this lie still being promoted:

“We are fighting the death-panel provisions of ObamaCare as well. Unelected government bureaucrats should not be deciding the limits of your childrens’, parents’ or grandparents’ healthcare options. Or yours! The fiscal burden alone would be enough reason to fight ObamaCare; but as the death panels demonstrate, ObamaCare is far more–far worse–than simply a financial disaster. It is an encroachment on individual liberty more egregious than any law passed in our lifetime.”

Good grief. There are no “death panels” in the Affordable Care Act. There are no provisions that give “bureaucrats” the authority to decide “the limits of your childrens’, parents’ or grandparents’ healthcare options.” FRC and other far-right groups are simply trying to… Read More

The far-right Family Research Council, which helped organize Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer event in Houston last August, appears to have no sense of irony (or shame). FRC has named U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., a “True Blue” member of Congress because of his “unwavering support of the family.” We suspect Walsh’s ex-wife might see things differently. She says Rep. Walsh owes her more than $100,000 in back child support for their three kids. Walsh contends he and his ex-wife had made a verbal agreement that he didn’t have to pay the money.

Among the reasons for the FRC award is Walsh’s support for de-funding Planned Parenthood. You just can’t make this stuff up.… Read More

Forrest Wilder

. @SenJaneNelson: Post-Planned Parenthood, the state women's health program "has more providers than we ever had." Our reporting: Nearly half of the approximately 5,400 providers didn’t see a single patient in the program in 2017. texasobserver.org/te…