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06/01/2015

Pro-fairness groups relish in Texas legislature's failure to enact crude, late-hour, desperate discrimination

by Jeremy Hooper

Another sign of the times: Even the conservative legislature of Texas is unable to pass bills that subjugate LGBT rights. A coalition of LGBT rights groups is celebrating the victory:

Texas legislators filed at least 23 bills promoting and in some cases requiring discrimination against LGBT people and their families. The bills included measures that would have allowed the use of religion to discriminate, subverted a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, swept away local anti-discrimination protections, and turned transgender people into criminals for using public restrooms.

Supporters used public hearings for those bills to promote offensive scare stories and vicious rhetoric attacking LGBT people, including comparing same-sex marriage to bestiality and pedophilia. But lawmakers sent to the governor only one watered-down bill. That bill, SB 2065, essentially restates what the U.S. and state constitutions as well as state law already guarantee — the right of clergy to refuse to perform marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs. Language allowing religiously affiliated institutions, such as hospitals and universities, to discriminate was stripped out in committee.

Joint Press Release: ACLU of Texas, Equality Texas, Texas Freedom Network, Human Rights Campaign [EQTX]

There's still a lot of bluster left in this fight and the movement that insists on picking it. Just listen to the GOP primary candidates and you'll realize that. The far-right isn't done talking about us, our rights, and their seeming belief that they get to control them.

But they no longer even a fraction of the political will and/or capital. Few conservatives would admit that, and many would even flat-out deny it. But every day we are seeing signs of a fight that is struggling to find the gas to match the fervor.

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