Connect with us

Texas GOP Attorney General, Lt. Governor Push For Indiana-Style Religious Freedom Bills



Proposals would ban local LGBT protections, safeguard ‘ex-gay’ therapy

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton have launched a fresh assault on LGBT rights, calling on state legislators to revive Indiana-style religious freedom legislation that was defeated in this year’s session. 

The proposals from Patrick (photo, left) and Paxton, both Tea Partiers, would nullify local nondiscrimination ordinances protecting LGBT people, give state-funded adoption agencies a license to discriminate against same-sex couples, ensure that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges doesn’t “needlessly trample the religious liberties of State and local government employees,” and preserve the right of mental health professionals to provide so-called “ex-gay” therapy.  

More than 20 similar anti-LGBT proposals died in this year’s session, largely due to opposition from the state’s chamber of commerce. But Patrick and Paxton are calling on legislative committees to study the proposals in the interim before the next Legislature convenes in January 2017.

“Examine measures to affirm 1st Amendment religious liberty protections in Texas, along with the relationship between local ordinances and state and federal law,” Patrick wrote atop a to-do list of 21 items for the Senate. “Make recommendations to ensure that the government does not force individuals, organizations or businesses to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.” 

Meanwhile, Paxton penned a letter to Patrick in which the attorney general went into more detail about anti-LGBT legislation, laying out goals including:  

• Faith-based adoption and foster care agencies should be free from discrimination based on their religious beliefs, as has occurred in other jurisdictions. 

• Religious beliefs when requiring counseling should be protected. 

• Small businesses and closely held corporations should not be required to provide goods or services for weddings that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Patrick’s to-do list prompted Equality Texas to issue an action alert, noting that the lieutenant governor is from Houston, where an Equal Rights Ordinance will appear on the ballot Nov. 3. A recent poll showed a majority of Houstonians back the ordinance, which is similar to laws protecting LGBT people against discrimination that are already on the books in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth and San Antonio.  

“Equality for gay and transgender Texans is under attack!” Executive Director Chuck Smith wrote. “Notwithstanding the defeat of more than 20 anti-LGBT bills in the last legislative session and June’s historic Supreme Court ruling affirming the freedom to marry, Lt. Gov. Patrick is still instructing lawmakers to look for ways to allow discrimination against gay and transgender Texas.” 

Kathy Miller, president of the pro-LGBT Texas Freedom Network, also responded to the proposals. 

“Freedom of religion does not give people a license to discriminate or to exempt themselves from laws that protect everyone,” Miller told The Austin Statesman.  



Texas AG Ken Paxton Headlines Anti-Gay Marriage And Religious Freedom Event

Breaking: Texas AG Ken Paxton Has Been Arrested And Booked On Securities Fraud Charges

Ken Paxton: Repealing Nondiscrimination Law ‘Victory For Houston Pastors’ And ‘Religious Liberty’


Image via Facebook

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


‘Start the Kevin McCarthy Death-Clock’ After Biden Wins Debt Ceiling Battle: Rick Wilson



Appearing late Saturday night on MSNBC after it was announced that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had reached an agreement “in principle’ on a budget deal, former GOP strategist Rick Wilson claimed this could be the beginning of the end for McCathy’s speakership.

Sitting in on a panel with guest host Michael Steele, Wilson suggested that McCarthy’s decision to compromise with the president to avoid a default that would spin the economy into chaos will not go over well with far-right members of his House caucus who could make a motion to “vacate the chair” to express their displeasure.

Asked by host Steel about what comes next, Wilson stated it was a win for the White House which will not make conservatives happy.

RELATED: ‘Crazy cuckoo MAGA people’ could sink debt ceiling deal: Dem strategist

“Great night for Joe Biden, great night for the White House even though I think their messaging has been kind of tentative the past few weeks” the Lincoln Project founder began. “I think though we are now going to start the Kevin McCarthy death-clock. He has certainly got a very angry part of his caucus tonight who probably burning up his phone no matter how good it is for the country not to default.”

“It’s not going to please the chaos caucus in the GOP,” he added.

Watch below or at the link:


Continue Reading


Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats



As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.

According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.

As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.

“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump in danger of heightened espionage charges after bombshell report: legal expert

Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.

In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”

With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”

Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”

Continue Reading


Prosecutors Tell Trump They Have a Recording of Him and a Witness: Report



Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial have notified the ex-president’s attorneys they have a recording of him and a witness. The notification comes in the form of an automatic discovery form, CBS News reports, which “describes the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad overview of the evidence that prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or at trial.”

CBS reports prosecutors have handed the recording over to Trump’s legal team.

It’s not known who the witness is, nor are any details known publicly about what the conversation entails, or even if it is just audio or if it includes video.

READ MORE: ‘Likely to Be Indicted Soon’: Trump Might Face Seven Different Felonies, Government Watchdog Says

According to the article’s author, CBS News’ Graham Kates, via Twitter, prosecutors say they also have recordings between two witnesses, a recording between a witness and a third party, and various recordings saved on a witness’s cell phones.

Trump is facing 34 felony counts in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case related to his allegedly unlawful attempt to hide hush money payoffs to a well-known porn star by falsifying business records to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.

See the discovery form above or at this link.

Image via Shutterstock


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.