Texas Senate goes whole hog on LGBT discrimination, again

by | May 14, 2019 | Policy, Texas Legislature

Here they go again.

Certain Republicans in the Texas Senate are again distracting themselves with an issue even most Republicans don’t care about: ripping on the LGBT community. Taxes, the economy, education, and property tax reform are the issues the people of this state care about.

Late Monday a bill was pulled out from obscurity in the Texas Senate, the most conservative chamber – perhaps in the entire country.

The proposed bill (S.B.1978) by Republican Bryan Hughes of Mineola prevents the Texas government from denying contracts and other agreements because of a person’s “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction, including beliefs or convictions regarding marriage,” according to the bill’s text.

Advocates warn the bill would allow businesses to refuse service to the LGBTQ community.

The House version of the bill was killed last week by the LGBT Caucus. Notably, as the Texas Tribune points out, that bill “would have empowered the Texas attorney general to sue on behalf of individuals or organizations claiming religious discrimination.”  

The Senate bill could be voted on later this week – by Tuesday at the latest.

“In the final days of the session, we hope state leaders will return to the position they held on January 8, that this session would not focus attacks on the LGBTQ community. We urge a continued focus on the bread and butter issues facing Texans,” said Samantha Smoot, Interim Executive Director at Equality Texas.

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