Pastor Protection Bill Still Alive as Other Important Bills Die

May 15, 2015

texas house floor empty (620-240)Facing a midnight deadline to pass House versions of bills, the Texas House of Representatives did not vote on important House versions of marriage and religious freedom bills last night.

But despite the outcome in the House last night, there is still good news and time to act to protect religious freedom and marriage. The Texas Senate already passed the Senate version of the Pastor Protection Bill (SB 2065) earlier this week, and this bill has now made its way over to the Texas House. So, the Texas House has a final chance to pass the Pastor Protection Bill before the end of the legislative session on June 1 (the House version, HB 3567, was not reached for a vote last night). We need a sustained effort to ask the Texas House to immediately start taking action on SB 2065.

We must, at a bare minimum, act to protect the rights of Texas pastors and churches on marriage. Any delay and this bill could also be killed due to inaction or time deadlines.

The disappointing news is that HB 4105 by Rep. Cecil Bell, Jr., the Preservation of State Sovereignty over Marriage Act, effectively died last night due to the House not voting on the bill. HB 4105 had a tremendous amount of support thanks to your activism, with 90 authors and coauthors – indicating the bill would have easily passed the Texas House had it been voted on.

Now is the time for you to continue to encourage all of our state leaders to stand up and say Texas will not be bullied by the anti-religious freedom extremists and their business enablers.

With two weeks left in the session, we must rally behind SB 2065 and protect Texas pastors and churches from the threat of pastors being forced to perform a same-sex “marriage”. As the recent oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court revealed and testimony from concerned Texas pastors has already shown, this threat is real.

Passing the Pastor Protection Bill is a very important step in the fight to protect our religious freedom. And we must complete this step now.

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