Texas Legislators gathered at the Capitol this afternoon to showcase key bills that will defend religious liberty in the Lone Star State.
The Rollout of Religious Liberty Legislation press conference featured Sens. Brian Birdwell, Bryan Hughes and Charles Perry, and Reps. Matt Krause, Briscoe Cain, Dan Flynn, Matt Rinaldi, Scott Sanford, Matt Schaeffer, and Mike Schofield. Individual Texans who have been impacted by growing threats to religious freedom also appeared to make their cases for some important bills being introduced this legislative session.
A list of important religious freedom bills being proposed in the 85th Legislature is included below.
“Everyone should be free to peacefully live and work according to their convictions without fear of being punished by the government,” said Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values. “These bills reinforce what Texas has stood for since we were founded.”
“We believe no one should be forced to choose between sacrificing their faith and serving their community,” said Nicole Hudgens, Policy Analyst for Texas Values. “We’ve all heard about the cake bakers and photographers fined for standing by their religious beliefs. And we’ve also heard about government employees who have lost their jobs and been thrown in jail because of their religious beliefs. But that’s the tip of the iceberg of what will happen if Texas does not stand up for liberty.”
Some recent examples of religious liberty infringement include:
- The County Clerk of Hood County, Katie Lang, was sued after she chose to have another government official in issue a same sex marriage license. The same sex couple received the marriage license but still pressed legal action against her.
- Catholic Dallas County Justice of the Peace Bill Metzger has been pressured to resign because his Catholic faith tells him that marriage is between one man and one woman and he chooses to follow this belief at work.
- In East Texas, a woman named Edie Derlome owns Kern’s Bakery and she has a belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. When that information became public, her son received threats of being violated and that the family’s home would be burned down. Mrs. Derlome said: “David and I are Christians and do our best to operate our business based upon Biblical values. We are grateful to live in not only a country that guarantees the right to religious liberty to all her citizens but also to live in our beloved Texas where our lawmakers are striving to insure that all our fellow Texans’ right to religious liberty is without threat of infringement.”
- Catholic nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor recently had to go all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court when federal government chose to punish them for following their religious beliefs while serving the impoverished.
- Bed and breakfast owner and operator in the Texas Hill Country Angela Smith stated at today’s press conference that she has been fearful to advertise that her business is open to host weddings because someone may use the government to punish her for her belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.
KEY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BILLS FILED FOR 2017 TEXAS LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Sen. Brian Birdwell, Religious Freedom for County Clerks/Justices of the Peace (SB 522)
Rep. Dan Flynn, Religious Freedom for County Clerks/Justices of the Peace (HB 1813)
Sen. Bryan Hughes, First Amendment Defense Act (SB 893); Religious Freedom Protection for Child Welfare Providers; HOME Act (SB 892)
Sen. Charles Perry, Religious Freedom for Occupational License Holders (SB 651)
Rep. Matt Krause, First Amendment Defense Act (HB 1923)
Rep. Matt Rinaldi, Church Security Protection Act (HB 421)
Rep. Scott Sanford, Religious Freedom Protection for Child Welfare Providers; HOME Act (HB 1805)
Rep. Matt Schaeffer, Religious Freedom Bill (to be filed)
Rep. Mike Schofield, Religious Freedom Protection for Homeowners Displays (HB 522)
Sen. Joan Huffman, Religious Freedom Protection for Pastor Sermons (SB 24)
Rep. Phil King, Religious Freedom for College Campus Organizations (HB 428)
… and many more have been filed and are expected to be filed
About Texas Values
Texas Values is a nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvalues.org.