The following is a statement from Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller following today’s approval of HB 4105 by the Texas House State Affairs Committee. HB 4105 is designed to subvert a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. It would bar public funding for, and bar state and local officials from, licensing or recognizing same-sex marriages in any way, regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Miller said:

“No one should be fooled into thinking that Texas isn’t constitutionally bound by rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court. Rulings decades ago striking down school segregation and the ban on interracial marriage should be evidence enough. So this bill really represents a legislative temper tantrum that would lead to costly lawsuits the state would almost certainly lose. And it would thrill people in Indiana who could finally point to another state as the poster child for passing laws that discriminate against people because of who they are and whom they love.”… Read More

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are as evil as Nazis? That sure seems to be the message in an email on Thursday from two Texas-based, religious-right groups, Dave Welch’s Texas Pastor Council and Rick Scarborough’s Vision America.

The email insists that “Christians must rally to defend Biblical marriage in Texas.” It then calls on readers to contact lawmakers in support of legislation that “defunds homosexual marriage” in Texas:

HB 4105 is a simple, two-page bill that affirms our existing law and also defunds homosexual marriage. This law will enable our Attorney General Ken Paxton to safeguard Texas against the potential upcoming judicial supremacy by the U.S. Supreme Court. The passage of HB 4105 now will enable Texas to defend against the imminent out-of-state pressure to impose homosexual marriage on Texas beginning the last week in June.

House Bill 4105 by state Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, would do no such thing. While the bill would attempt to prohibit the use of state or local funds to license or support the marriage of gay and lesbian couples, it wouldn’t trump a Supreme Court ruling. The U.S. Constitution demands that Texas abide by such a ruling, just as the state had to abide by rulings striking down racial segregation in schools in… Read More

Where to begin with Steven Hotze? The Houstonian and head of Conservative Republicans of Texas last made headlines a few weeks ago when he brought Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to the Texas Capitol for a rally in defense of this state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Hotze was back in Austin on Wednesday to appear before the Texas House Committee on State Affairs to speak in support of House Bill 4105 by state Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia. HB 4105 would prohibit state or local funds from being used to issue a same-sex marriage license or acknowledge a same-sex marriage in any other way — regardless of whether the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the ban on those unions in Texas.

During his testimony, Hotze, one of the most vicious anti-gay activists in all of Texas, got into a lengthy exchange with state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston. Just in the four-minute clip you can hear above, Hotze:… Read More

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

Texas Freedom Network

It took years to convince the @TXSBOE to create a Mexican American studies course for the state's public schools. It's great to see school districts offering it to students.