Even as the U.S. Supreme Court considers arguments that could lead to a historic ruling on the freedom to marry, it has become increasingly clear that Texas lawmakers are engaged in an aggressive strategy to lock in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. If that strategy is successful in the Lone Star State, we’ll almost certainly see it used in other states across the country. The Texas Freedom Network today joined with the ACLU of Texas and Equality Texas in sending out the following press release:
Civil liberties groups warned today that Texas lawmakers are leading the way on a strategy to subvert a potential Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage and enshrine discrimination against gay and transgender people in state law.
Bills now moving in the Texas Legislature go far beyond discriminatory bills that sparked uproar recently in Indiana and Arkansas, said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas.
“Under the guise of protecting religious liberty, Texas lawmakers are pioneering an aggressive strategy for preserving the right to discriminate against gay and transgender families no matter what the Supreme Court says about marriage,” Burke said. “The bills that are the foundation of this strategy are gaining traction and together are much worse than what we have seen elsewhere.”
Two such bills have already received the approval of House committees and await floor votes.
HB 4105 would bar public funding to license or recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples, even if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that state bans on such unions are unconstitutional. As of Tuesday, at least 54 members of the Texas House had signed on as co-authors of the bill.
Another bill already approved in committee, HB 3864, would allow child welfare agencies and providers to discriminate against LGBT families for religious reasons. At least 20 other bills would also promote and even require discrimination against LGBT individuals as well as couples. All could advance as stand-alone bills or be tacked on as amendments to other legislation.
The strategy to pass bills that lock in discrimination against gay and transgender Texans could lead to months and even years of litigation, said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network.
“Dragging this battle out in lengthy litigation appears to be a central part of the strategy to stonewall equality,” Miller said. “That would impose great harm, financial and otherwise, on loving families simply trying to exercise their constitutionally protected rights.”
Texas lawmakers appear determined to make the same mistakes that brought severe business and public backlashes in other states, said Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas.
“Businesses have already made clear in Texas, as they did in Indiana and Arkansas, that they are wary of moving to states with a reputation as intolerant and unwelcoming,” Smith said. “Legislators should have Texas join the rest of the nation in embracing equality under the law for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The ACLU of Texas, Texas Freedom Network and Equality Texas have joined together in an initiative – TexansEqualUnderLaw.com/marriage_backlash – in opposition to the proposed discrimination bills.
ACLU of Texas is a guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, the Legislature and Texas communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution. The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who support religious freedom, individual liberties and public schools. Equality Texas works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.
11 thoughts on “Time to Raise the Alarm: The Texas Strategy to Lock in Anti-LGBT Discrimination”
One can’t ask for civil liberties and then ask for government involvement. It can’t work because someone will always be shorted
Since most legislators are attorneys, this is just a jobs bill for their fellow attorneys. I used to be so proud to be from Texas, but not anymore.
Being a Texan used to be something to brag about. No longer. Although I am an Independent voter, but I never vote for any TEAlibans.
Thanks to my fellow Texans who are stuck in the ’60s who vote for the TEAliban without even so much as THINKING about who they are voting for. Because my vote no longer matters, I’ll never vote again. The TEAliban is out to destroy Texas and the United States.
The sub-intelligent among us are now thinking that the Federal armed forces are going to take over Texas and our empty-headed governor is so damned paranoid that he is buying into the myth.
I’d LOVE for the feds to take over this idiotic state.
Well, for a democracy to be successful an informed electorate is needed and we don’t have that. As a high school teacher I am totally stunned by the total ignorance of young people. They can do selfies and such but can’t even tell me who the VP of the USA is.
It doesn’t do any good to name call either Beverly. You debase your argument.
But, people are going to believe what they want to believe. Some out of blind ignorance and some out of willful ignorance.
I feel tremendous pity for many because their total lack of understanding of a God who judges and who will eternal damn people for not accepting Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary for the sins of mankind. All done to try and reconcile men to God but men love darkness and suppress the truth with lies. Doesn’t matter the lie.
They allow people like you to teach high school in Texas? I’m not surprised. You lay off my friend Beverly. She has more brains in her Jewish fingernail than you have in your entire cranium.
Here is what is going to happen. The U.S. Supreme Court is going to legalize same sex marriage before the end of June 2015. You are no doubt aware of the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution. There will be no getting around that at the state and local levels. State and local governments are only allowed to pass laws and promulgate regulations that are more stringent that the federal laws and regulations. Just a made-up example, if federal law says you can have 0.011 ppm of lead in drinking water, a state law can make that be 0.001 ppm. However, under the Supremacy Clause, no state or local government is allowed to keep a state law or state regulation that countermands federal law or federal regulations (or a standing federal court ruling about them) or that has the net effect of doing so by a checkmate process. It is blatantly illegal. So, you can pass all the anti-gay laws, regulations, and ordinances you like at the state and local levels in Texas—and every last one of them will be undone permanently by a federal court.
You may recall what Andrew Jackson said. He said, “Our federal union. It must be preserved.” He also took an oath of office to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” I want to tell you personally and individually that Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and I (if I were President) would be more than happy to send the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions to Texas to arrest and imprison every Texas citizen who tries to violate one of these federal laws or regulations—and shoot them dead as a doornail if they put up armed resistance against it—which is treason under the same U.S. Constitution.
As a member of the United Methodist Church and a follower of Jesus Christ, I am personally looking forward to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June—not because it has anything to do with sin—but because it will mark the beginning of the end of Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical influence on the culture of the United States—and will put people like you in the dunce corner you deserve to sit in for the rest of your life. So you can take your little fundie religious cult and all the hatred for your fellow man that you generate there every Sunday morning—and shove it where the sun does not shine. And agree with Beverly “TEAliban.”
You may be a Methodist but doubtful you are born-again. You sound like an apostate. The mere fact that you stumbled over Christ crucified indicates such. You cannot hold to those beliefs and hold on to Christianity. And to be filled with such hatred as to name call and threaten death.
Do you have any sea what the Taliban does to homosexuals? They murder them in cold blood. Same with adulterers. Watch the videos of them being thrown off buildings to die. There is no excuse for that to happen.
Jesus Christ is the Jewish savior and Israel committed national suicide when they said ‘We have no God but Caesar” and then later said to Pilate ‘His blood be upon us and our children”. The fallout has been incredible for the Jews ever since then. Doesn’t make it right, just a consequence for breaking the covenant with God.
Now as far as the other. If you want to see where homosexuality gets a country just go visit the Dead Sea. They found the archeological remains of Sodom and Gomorrah in the lower southeast corner. That region has never recovered from the fire and brimstone a holy and righteous God rained down upon them for their wickedness including gay marriage.
Now if the Supreme Court rules for gay marriage then it will be proof positive that homosexuality in the Bible is not only a sin but a judicial act by where God gives a person over to that lifestyle for continuing rebellion. Man can longer discern what is right from wrong because men live in a delusional state and are fascinated by evil and wickedness.
Next to suicide, homosexuality is proof positive of man’s rebellion against God as it is unnatural and unwholesome.
Your argument ultimately is not with men but with God. Come to Christ and surrender our life to His will and find the peace that brings all understanding. You sound like the heathens raging against God in Psalms.
Blessings to you.
Folks. Keying off what “Amazed” said, here is what “born again” really looks like behind those nice suits, flower-print dresses, and smiles at an IFB church on Sunday morning. This was written by a former IFB preacher who is now retired and telling all about the so-called changed hearts and souls hiding behind the “born again” curtain at all those non-apostate churches—as if the rest of us did not already know this:
How about this one A-hole? Here is another example of born again and “we are better than all of you and all those homo sinners:
I never said anything about being better than anyone else. I am just a sinner saved by grace like anyone else who has trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. I have students who are gay and they talk to me about it and it doesn’t affect my attitude about them. I wish they weren’t but they are agents of will like the rest of humanity.
I haven’t had a chance to hit your links yet but I will. Just because someone doesn’t agree with the life style doesn’t mean they are hateful spiteful bigots. It is when they start mistreating and maligning others.
Born – again in the biblical sense just means you have trusted in Christ to forgive your sins and accepting Him into your heart.
As Peter said God covers a multitude of sins and that includes all people. Don’t be so bitter or hateful because there are some Bible believing Christians that hold firm to their faith and understanding the Bible pass no judgment. That is left to the Almighty Holy God.
When man start with themselves as the basis of law then standards are arbitrary. The Enlightenment proved that because the French Revolution modeled itself after man made law. So did the Nazis and Communists. Look at how cruel those systems were.
If we are going to start tampering with God’s laws then we will definitely rue the consequences and we are on the brink now.
Hold up a minute there, Amazed. The American Revolution threw off the power of God-appointed kings before the French did – we even said men could rule themselves! And the US Constitution is pretty silent on penalties for blasphemy, or worshipping “strange gods,” or what you must not do on the Sabbath, whatever that is. And nothing at all about seething a kid in its mother’s milk.
I think we got a decent start over here with “man-made laws.” Sure, churchy people in lots of states have fought for their versions of “God’s Immutable Law” for all those years – but we’re getting over that. A pork and shrimp are legal pretty much everywhere.
Really what I am talking about is whether or not man is the end all or if the Lord God in heaven is the standard. So there was a foundation on which we made those laws.
Also, when Jesus died he did away with the Mosaic covenant. Pork and shellfish are no longer unclean as far as that goes. He even chided Peter who was not wanting to eat with the Gentiles “Don’t you call unclean what I have called clean”.