by Dan Quinn

Violent weather and flooding have killed at least nine Texans since Friday. This month the Texas Supreme Court criticized the state's broken and inequitable system for funding public schools but didn't require the Legislature to change it. The state's shockingly dysfunctional Child Protective Services is failing abused and neglected children. And the state's attorney general is under indictment for financial fraud. Texas clearly has plenty of real problems. But today Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick held a news conference at the Texas Capitol to announce that his "fight" against transgender kids who want to use the restroom in peace is "just beginning." Really. Read More

Dave Welch, the Houston hate-monger who runs the right-wing U.S./Texas/Houston Area Pastor Council, played a leading role last year in promoting the deeply misleading argument that the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance would give sexual predators access to women's restrooms. Of course, this bathroom predator argument, which we're now hearing around the country, is essentially a lie. But that hasn't stopped Welch and others who support discrimination against LGBT folks. They even seem to be trying to tie just about any assault or harassment in a public restroom to protections for transgender folks. Here, for example, is a screenshot from an email last Friday from Welch's group:…… Read More

Religious-right leader Robert Jeffress, pastor of a Dallas megachurch, told listeners of a Family Research Council radio program Monday that protecting transgender people from discrimination means America is "headed toward chaos" and represents "rebellion against the plan of God." Our friends at Right Wing Watch report how Jeffress insisted that anti-discrimination efforts are a threat to religious freedom, and he specifically blamed the Chamber of Commerce and business interests. In fact, he told guest host Todd Starnes, Islamic State terrorists are less of a threat:…… Read More

This morning the U.S. Department of Education issued a letter to public school districts across the country advising them that federal law requires them to protect transgender students from discrimination and allow them to use bathrooms and locker rooms "consistent with their gender identity." Naturally, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has been on potty patrol every single day this week, wanted to rail against the letter and called a press conference, which started only a few minutes after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state's formula for funding public schools was constitutional. That court ruling carries with it heavy implications for the state's schools and whether they'll be adequately funded in years to come. Read More

It's hard to imagine a more disgraceful demonstration of ignorance, fear-mongering and bullying. That's what we're seeing as one of the state's highest elected officials joins with religious-right groups in demanding that the Fort Worth Independent School District rescind a policy allowing transgender students to use the restroom in peace. Read More