State Rep. Jeff Leach has brought up one inflammatory anti-abortion bill after another as chair of the Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee this session. This past week's hearing drew testimony from hundreds anti-abortion extremists, many celebrating the possibility of executing a woman who ends her pregnancy early for any reason. Enough is enough. Today we joined with partner organizations to call out Chairman Leach for abusing his position of authority to bully, denigrate and shame women who have an abortion. Read More

Watching religious-righters twist themselves into knots in an effort to explain their support for Donald Trump has been a fascinating experience. Consider, for example, the experience of state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano. Read More

Efforts to pass legislation addressing the mythical threat of Sharia, or Islamic law, in Texas are gearing up yet again in the current legislative session.

Right-wing state lawmakers have been pushing for years to pass legislation banning Sharia in Texas. Many such bills around the country have been linked to a core group of anti-Muslim fanatics (see here as well) who claim that America is at risk of coming under the control of Muslim extremists and Islamic law. Nevermind that the U.S. Constitution forbids the establishment of religious laws. (And nevermind that many of those fanatics and their supporters often argue that American laws should be based on their own particular Christian beliefs.)

Federal courts have taken a skeptical view of such laws, noting that they single out a particular religion. Indeed, many efforts to pass such laws represent little more than poorly concealed bigotry aimed at Muslim Americans.

So in recent years supporters of anti-Sharia bills have tried to craft laws without actually mentioning Sharia. Instead, their bills bar the application of “foreign,” “international” or “cultural” laws in our courts. And supporters often try to avoid even mentioning Sharia in legislative debates over the bills.

No one is fooled. And legislators’ efforts to… Read More

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