Pro-Family Priorities for 2019 Texas Legislative Session
Texas has the opportunity to advance the line in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session on religious freedom, privacy, marriage, life, and education. Below are some of the issues the Texas Values Action team sees that need to be addressed in the upcoming legislative session:
The need for religious freedom and conscious protections continues to increase, specifically when it comes to the issues of marriage and human sexuality. Individuals, business owners, and government workers continue to be attacked and threatened because of their sincerely held religious beliefs. For instance:
- Edie Delorme, a cake baker in Longview Texas declined to design a cake for a same-sex wedding because she believes marriage is between one man and one woman. After she declined to design the cake, she and her family received horrific threats, including to be burned inside their home and their son to be assaulted. Edie obtained legal counsel from First Liberty.
- Jack Phillips was victorious at the U.S. Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission after the Colorado Commission on Civil Rights attacked Jack for his religious beliefs in 2018. Jack was happy to serve everyone, but he politely declined to design cakes that were offensive or violated his sincerely held religious beliefs. Unfortunately, Jack is back in court because the same government that punished him for declining to design a same-sex wedding cake is now punishing him for declining to design a “gender transition cake.”
But business owners aren’t the only ones who need religious freedom protections:
- Justice of the Peace, Bill Metzger, from Dallas County has sought to exercise his religious liberty rights to not be forced to perform marriages that violate his religious beliefs. Because of his stance, he and his family have received significant threats.
- Religious homeless shelters are at risk of being forced to allow men into women’s sleeping quarters.
- Catholic hospitals are being sued when elective controversial surgeries are declined due to the hospital’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
The State of Texas needs to ensure the religious beliefs of all Texans, including business owners, government workers, religious groups, and healthcare providers are not punished for their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Religious freedom also applies to what you express on your own property. A bill that was pre-file before the session, SB 227 by Senator Bettencourt, protects homeowners from being punished by home owner associations for displaying religious symbols on property. Current law only extends to the door of a home. Texas Values Action supports this bill.
And if you don’t think there are enough attacks on religious freedom, consider this – a TEXAS church is being protested against by LGBT activists because they believe in God’s Biblical design for marriage and human sexuality. We must ensure that all Texans can continue to live according to their God-given rights and First Amendment freedoms at the state level.
Students in Texas are still at risk of being forced to share showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms with students of the opposite sex. In fact, our team has still been talking to parents of students who are being forced to share facilities with the opposite sex. Some school districts in Texas have policies that allow boys into girls’ showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms. And the issue is getting worse:
- The Department of Education is investigating a horrific incident in which a young girl in kindergarten was sexually assaulted because the school had a policy that allowed boys into girls’ facilities.
- Schools in Texas, like Fort Worth ISD and Dripping Springs ISD have used so-called “nondiscrimination” policies to allow boys to go into girls’ showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms.
- Earlier this year, GOP voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of Proposition 6 (over 90%) modeled after the Texas Privacy Act. (Proposition 6 ranked even higher than repealing Obamacare!)
Unborn children in Texas can still be killed inside the womb. Some governmental entities in Texas still financially support abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Our efforts will continue to support protecting unborn children and ending any government use of taxpayer dollars or subsidies for abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood.
Texas legislators cannot sit quietly this session on pro-family issues. The left is already aggressively attacking individuals, business owners, counselors, and more by filing multiple bills that would punish Texans who believe marriage is between one man and one woman and sex is determined by biology. Some bills force business owners to allow men into women’s restrooms- and if the business owners don’t comply- they face criminal penalties. One bill removes the words “mother” and “father” from birth certificates. Another bill forces counselors to affirm the LGBT agenda – no matter what their religious beliefs they hold.
As the Texas Values Action team, we will be on the ground every day during the 86th legislative session defending life, marriage, religious freedom, and human sexuality. We will be your voice for family values from the first slam of the gavels on the Speaker’s desk, through the late hours of the night for committee hearings, until Sine Die (the end of session). Will you join us in standing for faith, family, and freedom by committing to pray for our team, sign up for our action alert emails, and engaging with your legislators?