Today’s hearing of the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee was billed as an examination of how to protect religious liberty, but it was really about what we expected it would be: justifying discrimination against LGBT people. In fact, halfway through the hearing, it became clear that religious-right activists and committee members were especially interested in relitigating last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
One after another, religious-righters and other conservative activists went before the committee to make a variety of argument that, boiled down, were essentially the following:
- They have the to ignore laws that offend their religious beliefs.
- They have the right use their religious beliefs as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people.
- The U.S. Supreme Court is a tyrannical institution that, particularly on the issue of marriage, has demonstrated no respect for God, country and Constitution.
If you’re interested, you can watch an archived video recording of the hearing here. The hearing went from 9 a.m. to nearly 12:30.
Shortly before the hearing, the Texas Freedom Network and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas held a press briefing at the Texas Capitol to talk about real threats to religious liberty in Texas. You can read our press release about that briefing here.