Texas House Vote for SB1978: Lawmakers Are Trying to Score Anti-LGBTQ Political Points

by Dan Quinn

The Texas House just gave preliminary approval to SB1978, an anti-LGBTQ bill masquerading as legislation supporting religious freedom. The House must still pass the bill on third reading. The Senate has already passed it. We just sent out the following press release.

TEXAS FREEDOM NETWORK STATEMENT ON HOUSE VOTE FOR SB1978

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2019

AUSTIN – Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement on the Texas House’s preliminary passage of SB1978 today:

“We are encouraged that the Legislature’s first-ever LGBTQ Caucus succeeded in removing this bill’s worst provisions as originally filed, which would have allowed businesses to use their religious beliefs as a justification for discriminating against gay and transgender Texans. Many members of that caucus were elected for the first time just last November, a clear example of how elections matter.

But the time spent on this divisive legislation demonstrates that we still have far too many lawmakers trying to score political points by treating LGBTQ Texans as less deserving of the same respect and dignity everybody deserves. This bill was never really about protecting religious freedom. The Constitution and existing state law rightly protect that fundamental freedom already. This bill was always about stigmatizing people because of who they are or whom they love and suggesting that treating LGBTQ people as equal under the law is somehow a threat to people of faith. That suggestion is shameful, as many clergy and people of faith who support equality made clear throughout the session.

Lawmakers this session filed 15 bills seeking to use religion to stigmatize and hurt LGBTQ people. The best way to keep the Legislature from spending so much time on similar bills in two years is to elect new lawmakers who reject discrimination and support equality for all.”

The House must still pass SB1978 on third reading. The bill has already passed the Senate.

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice.

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Texas Civil Rights Project

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