One of the least reported outcomes from the Primary election was the ballot propositions that the parties voted on. While these propositions do not carry the weight of law, they do give the respective parties a great opportunity for to gauge the support of their members on important issues facing the state.
One of the Republican ballot propositions we were watching closely dealt with one of our core issues: Religious Liberty. Specifically, proposition (Prop. 3) dealt with public prayer and asked whether:
“Government should be prohibited from restricting the content of public prayer.”
Not surprisingly, Texans showed overwhelming support for the basic religious freedom that restricts the government, at any level, from interfering in the content of a public prayer. More than 1.42 million Texans voted on this proposition, the highest level of any of the propositions, and more than 91% were in favor.
The issue of protecting our religious freedom, specifically the right to pray, continues to be a battle worth fighting in the state of Texas. Right here in the state of Texas, there continues to be a growing amount of instances where the government attempts to restrict or outright censor the prayer of students, pastors and veterans, and many others.
We worked on a constitutional amendment last session to provide specific religious liberty protection from the government in our state constitution, which received wide support in the Texas house (final vote was 82-32). Unfortunately, it did not receive the needed 100 votes out of 150 to pass as a constitutional amendment. We have a vote count of how the members voted, including the 7 Republicans that voted against religious freedom protection here.
Strengthening our religious freedom protection will be a top priority again for our organization as we head into the next Texas legislative session. A state religious liberty constitutional amendment provides the best guarantee of lasting protection for our citizens’ religious liberties from an activist court, overreaching legislature, or government bureaucracy.
Texans spoke out loudly for religious liberty in the election, it is time we listen to them and place strong religious liberty protection in the Texas Constitution.