Austin, Texas January 28, 2019
With increased numbers in the Texas Legislature, Texas Democrats are filing bolder and more leftist legislation.
While many Texans expected Democrats to file legislation to raise the minimum wage, bring Obamacare to Texas, and scale back pro-life protections for the unborn, few expected an all-out war to be declared on religious liberty.
Over the past few weeks, Texas Democrats have filed a number of bills which infringe wholesale on the rights of religious citizens.
Here are just a few of them:
- House Bill 244 by State Rep. Jessica Farrar (Houston) would force Christian small businesses to provide goods and services in support of sexual orientation and transgenderism. Private businesses would be also be required to allow men to use women’s restrooms. (Identical legislation has also been filed in the form of House Bill 254 by State Rep. Diego Bernal (San Antonio) and Senate Bill 151 by State Sen. Jose Rodriguez (El Paso).)
- House Bill 188 by Bernal would amend the Property Code to create “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” protected classes while also stripping private businesses and entities from determining their own bathroom policies.
- House Bill 517 by State Rep. Celia Israel (Austin) would infringe on the rights of religious counselors, therapists, and psychologists to assist individuals in accordance with their beliefs.
- House Bill 850 by State Rep. Eric Johnson (Dallas) would amend the Labor Code to create “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” protected classes, a decision which would force businesses to pay for same-sex benefits and allow biological men into bathroom and changing facilities.
- Senate Bill 154 by Rodriguez would force health care providers, even against their conscience, to create new birth certificates and other documents for gender identity.
While none of this legislation appears likely to pass the Texas Legislature (which is still in Republican hands), the push provides a clear warning sign to what could happen should Democrats succeed in taking one or both chambers of state legislature in the 2020 elections.
As The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson noted:
“If you want a sense of where the left is headed nationally, look at what progressive legislators in Texas are trying to do. They want to ban Christianity in all but name. This continues a long line of thought first advocated by the Obama Administration, which sought to restrict the ‘free exercise’ clause of the first amendment to a ‘freedom of worship’ standard. In other words, be a Christian in church on Sunday, but nowhere else.”