Texas LGBTQ Caucus Kills ‘Save Chick-fil-A’ Bill
Texas House Fails to Pass #SaveChickfilA Bill, Still Time for Senate to Act
In a major setback for religious freedom, the Texas House failed to pass HB 3172 (the First Amendment Defense Act also known as the ‘Save Chick-fil-A Bill’) last night before a key deadline. Before debate and a vote could take place, a questionable point of order was called on the bill by radical leftist State Rep. Julie Johnson (D – Carrollton & member of the LGBTQ Caucus) and was approved by the House parliamentarian and Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
A point of order is a procedural attack on a bill that can delay passage until the rule issue is addressed. Because HB 3172 did not come up on the House floor until the evening of the House bill deadline, the Speaker’s decision to sustain the point of order effectively killed the House version of this bill. It must also be pointed out that the Texas House has a Republican majority, and the Republican leadership controls the process and timing of getting a bill to the House floor.
The delay in bringing HB 3172 to the House floor, including the bill sitting in the House State Affairs Committee for 12 days before being voted out, played a role in allowing Rep. Johnson’s point of order to kill the bill and the ensuing celebration by the House LGBTQ Caucus. The celebration included Rep. Johnson gleefully tweeting last night, “Ding dong…The Wicked bill is dead!” and “news” articles from pro-LGBT “reporters”.
But let’s be crystal clear about exactly why the LGBTQ Caucus, national LGBT advocacy groups, and the hard-Left media are celebrating. They are celebrating because the government can still discriminate against Christians. They are celebrating because San Antonio has banned a Chick-fil-A because of its financial support of Christian ministries. They celebrate because more and more people of faith, including countless small businesses owners including cake bakers, florists, and photographers, are being punished by government for simply operating their business in line with their biblical values. LGBT advocates celebrate because they ultimately believe that they can completely silence people of faith – just like you and me.
But while they celebrate today, the fight to protect our First Amendment religious freedom rights and the fight to stop government discrimination against Christians is NOT OVER this session. The Senate has a companion version of the ‘Save Chick-fil-A’ religious freedom bill in SB 1978 by Senator Bryan Hughes (R), but the bill has yet to have a hearing in Senate State Affairs Committee, Chaired by Senator Joan Huffman (R). While there is not much time left in the session, the Senate does not have the same deadlines as the House and can move bills much quicker, but only if they immediately get to work.
Make no mistake, the House’s failure to act last night made the path to getting any strong religious freedom bill passed much more difficult. But there is still time, if and only if, supporters of religious freedom have the will to act. Ultimately, Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick and Speaker Bonnen must all decide who they will side with this session – advocates for the First Amendment and religious freedom or advocates for government discrimination against people of faith?
Call Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick and Speaker Bonnen and urge them to protect religious freedom THIS SESSION:
Governor Greg Abbott – (512) 463-2000
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick- (512) 463-0001
Speaker Dennis Bonnen – (512) 463-1000