Was it wrong for the federal courts to force an end to school segregation and the ban on interracial marriage in Texas? One might be excused for wondering whether the folks at Texas Values think so.

Texas Values, lobby arm of the right-wing, Plano-based group Liberty Institute, insists today that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott “stands up against lesbian mayor.” The anti-gay group notes that Abbott, a Republican running for governor this year, has filed court briefs in two lawsuits regarding Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s move to extend insurance benefits to the same-sex spouses of city employees who were married in states where such unions are legal. Abbott’s briefs are in opposition to that policy.

The Texas Constitution and state law bar recognition of same-sex marriages, but such unions are legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia. As the Houston Chronicle reports, Parker and the city attorney support extending benefits to married spouses of city employees by pointing to last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, other relevant case law, and the federal government’s recognition of same-sex marriages conducted where such unions are legal.

Jonathan Saenz, the… Read More

Yet again we see a religious-right group promote misleading “science” and a social agenda while pretending to practice law — but this time a federal judge is having none of it.

Last fall Texas Values, the lobby arm of Plano-based Liberty Institute, sought permission from a federal district judge in San Antonio to file an amicus brief opposing a lawsuit against the state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Texas. On Monday federal Judge Orlando Garcia smacked down the motion from Texas Values in the DeLeon etal v. Perry case. It seems clear that the judge thought the rabidly anti-gay group was wasting his time. From Judge Garcia’s order:

 “Far from providing legal arguments, the Court finds that Movant attempts to present ‘social science’ which will not be ‘useful’ for the Court in making a legal determination of the constitutional issues raised in this case. … The Court finds the interests of the public, raised by Movant, are adequately represented by the parties in the case, and granting amici status to Movant would do nothing to aid this Court’s evaluation of the legal issues in the underlying action.”

Indeed, rather… Read More

by Jose Medina

Question: Did you do nothing today other than sit on the couch and watch TV? Congratulations, your day was far more productive than the folks over at the far-right group Texas Values, who spent the day at the Capitol fighting an imaginary opponent alongside state Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston, and others in the latest round of the still non-existent "War on Christmas." Let's be clear and call this what is is: It's a fundraising scheme by Texas Values, which is the lobbying arm of Liberty Institute. It is also an excuse for Texas Values to gin up publicity with, potentially, a frivolous lawsuit against [your school district's name here]. It's sleigh-chaisin' instead of ambulance-chasin', if you will. So it's time to treat this campaign with the dignity it deserves, by throwing a couple of pies in its face. Texas Values and its lawyer-lobbyist Jonathan Saenz (pictured with Santas below) want to pretend like they're valiantly defending Christmas from the threat of, well, no one? Fine. We'll pitch in and create some ads for them. Because everyone needs a lawyer ... even Santa. Read More

We thought it was revealing that Texas Values, the lobby arm of the Plano-based religious-right group Liberty Institute, was mostly AWOL during the science textbook battle at the State Board of Education (SBOE) this year. It turns out that the group prefers to scare its members with myths and fantasies rather than work on serious issues — even issues that once dominated its time.

Four years ago the group’s chief lobbyist in Austin was a regular presence at SBOE debates over the revision of science curriculum standards. He portrayed those debates as critical to the future of science education even as his anti-evolution group argued for standards based on junk science. The group hailed the SBOE’s 2009 approval of flawed science standards that creationists hoped would force publishers to water down instruction on evolution and climate change in their new textbooks.

But since publishers submitted their new textbooks for adoption this past April, the Texas Values blog hasn’t said a word about it. The group sent a staff member to testify at an SBOE hearing about the textbooks in September, but its blog and emails to members have yet to mention the board’s final vote in… Read More

The debate over the proposed nondiscrimination ordinance in San Antonio appears headed to a possible conclusion when the city council votes on Thursday.

As expected, the religious right has engaged in a great deal of misinformation and fear mongering during the debate, either at public hearings, in the press, via social media or through Ken Mercer’s email address book. No surprise there, unfortunately.

One of those leading the charge to smear the LGBT community has been Texas Values, lobby arm of the Plano-based, religious-right group Liberty Institute. We’ve been wondering what exactly they mean by Texas Values. Apparently, one of their values is stretching the truth.

PolitiFact Texas today took Texas Values to task for their blatant misrepresentations of the nondiscrimination ordinance’s supposed “bathroom” provision, which was characterized in a Texas Values email like so: “San Antonio Ordinance to Allow Men into Women’s Restrooms.” Here’s the verdict:

Our ruling

Texas Values’ email said, “San Antonio Ordinance to Allow Men into Women’s Restrooms.”

We found nothing in law that says San Antonio men can’t go into women’s restrooms now, or vice versa. The City of San Antonio and the councilman who proposed the measure said it won’t… Read More