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Texas Lawmaker Working to Write Anti-LGBT Discrimination Into State Constitution

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Right-Wing Rep. Matt Krause is Undeterred by Economic Backlash in North Carolina

Despite economic backlash over House Bill 2 in North Carolina, one right-wing Texas lawmaker wants to write anti-LGBT discrimination into the state Constitution. 

And Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is signaling that he would sign the measure if it passes the House and Senate. 

Texas already has a strong Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which prohibits the government form substantially burdening a person’s free exercise of religion unless it has a compelling interest. 

GOP Rep. Matt Krause (shown above with Sen. Ted Cruz, whom he supports for president) is an attorney who previously worked for Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT hate group, and has compared gays to Nazis. Last year, Krause authored a proposal to remove the word “substantially” from the law, and enshrine it in the Constitution. Now, in the wake of overwhelming opposition from businesses to anti-LGBT bills in North Carolina and Georgia, Krause is vowing to introduce his proposed amendment to the state constitution when the Texas Legislature meets again in 2017. Only one other state in the nation, Alabama, has an RFRA in its Constitution. 

“Nobody should be forced to go against their conscience or religious beliefs,” Krause told The Austin Statesman. 

Gov. Abbott’s press secretary, John Wittman, told the Statesman: “To imply that religious liberty cannot be protected without hurting a business’ bottom line is inherently false and goes against the principles our country was founded on. Gov. Abbott has always sought to protect and expand religious liberty and economic freedom in Texas, and he looks forward to continuing that work in the 85th legislative session.”

In addition to sanctioning anti-LGBT discrimination, experts say Krause’s measure would open the door to a host of unintended consequences, such as domestic abusers using it as a defense to criminal charges; medical professionals refusing to provide life-saving treatments based on their beliefs; and workers being fired for violating the tenets of an employer’s faith. 

“A lot of lawyers would say that the word ‘substantial’ has some real meaning to it, and that dropping it means that you’re going to give any litigant the right to say, ‘I feel burdened,’ and that will be that with regard to forcing the state to show the compelling interest,” said Sanford Levinson, a law professor at the University of Texas. “If that’s not what you’re out to do, then I’m not sure what the point of the amendment would be, because the state RFRA seems to be quite strong, so why do we need this?” 

The Texas Association of Business, the state’s chamber of commerce, opposed Krause’s measure last year and is already speaking out against any potential anti-LGBT legislation in 2017. 

“We certainly don’t want Texas to appear to be unwelcoming for future talent, and that’s what I think we’ll get if something like North Carolina’s bill is taken up by our Legislature,” TAB President Chris Wallace told The Texas Observer. 

Seven hundred of the state’s employers, including 30 from the Fortune 500, have joined the pro-LGBT coalition Texas Competes. 

“In how many states does this have to happen before it becomes clear that legislation that goes this far, that extremist legislation that specifically targets LGBT people for discrimination, is something that has negative consequences from an economic and a business standpoint?” said Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas. 

 

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IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Trump Reverses on Illegal Hosting of G-7 at His Own Resort – Blames ‘Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility’

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President Donald Trump late Saturday night finally reversed his decision to host the G-7 at his Doral Miami resort in June of 2020. Ignoring numerous Republican lawmakers, legal experts, and bipartisan condemnation of his unconstitutional and illegal decision the president instead blamed the “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility.”

Curiously, Trump announced his administration would “begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately.”

But on Thursday Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters at a rare White House briefing that the administration had conducted an exhaustive search for the best space to host the G-7 leaders, and fairly decided Trump’s Doral Miami resort was “perfect.”

Earlier: Trump Mocked After Saying He Thought Violating the Constitution and Profiting From G7 Hosting Was ‘Good for Our Country’

Mulvaney went so far as to claim the White House had looked at 12 locations, including two in Utah, but decided on the Doral.

He also preemptively refused to release any emails or other items documenting the search process.

But if an actual search had been conducted, it would make sense to simply announce the 2020 G-7 would be held at the next “best” locale. Instead, Trump announced a new search would be conducted.

Why?

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READ THE CONSTITUTION

Trump Mocked After Saying He Thought Violating the Constitution and Profiting From G7 Hosting Was ‘Good for Our Country’

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‘Bro Tweeted Out an Ad’

After tremendous public and private  bipartisan condemnation of his decision to host the 2020 G-7 at his own Miami resort President Donald Trump Saturday night appeared to be laying the groundwork of reversing the unconstitutional and illegal decision.

In an insane series of tweets the president did what he always does: blamed the media for holding his feet to the fire in accurately reporting the consequences of his actions.

“I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders. It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms,” Trump tweeted, adding that “each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives. I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!”

Also going “crazy” are Republicans and legal experts.

Should Trump host the G-7 at any of his properties he would reportedly be violating at least one if not several laws, and the U.S. Constitution.

Many quickly took to Twitter to express their condemnation yet again.

 

 

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2020 Road to the White House

‘This Is a Real Warning’: Ex-Campaign Aide Bluntly States Clinton Didn’t Go Far Enough Criticizing Tulsi Gabbard

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On MSNBC Saturday, former Clinton campaign official and director of SiriusXM progressive programming Zerlina Maxwell said that not only did Hillary Clinton do nothing wrong for criticizing Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), she should have if anything gone even harder.

“I think she didn’t go far enough, and we have to decide whether or not we’ll listen to Hillary Clinton, who lived through this in 2016, or whether or not we’re going to do what we did in 2016, is decide that what she’s saying is irrelevant because of how we feel personally about her, and I think that that would be a mistake,” said Maxwell.

Related: ‘Malevolent Kraken’: Tulsi Gabbard Mocked After Attacking Hillary Clinton Over Claim Russia Is Grooming a Woman Democrat

“In 2016, anchors literally laughed at Hillary Clinton when she said it was Russia,” Maxwell continued. “Robby Mook went on television and said, ‘It was Russia that was hacking our emails and releasing them on Wikileaks.’ We were laughed at. I would like everyone to listen to us now because I, on the campaign, had that red banner over my email that said, ‘Government hackers are trying to infiltrate your account.’ So, this is a real warning. And I think that we would be smart to listen before it’s too late.”

Watch below:

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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