Houston Ordinance Hearing, Texas Free Speech Fight

May 2, 2014

Strong Opposition to Houston LGBT Ordinance at Hearing

The Houston City Council’s Quality of Life Committee held a hearing this week on the proposed wide-reaching LGBT Special Rights ordinance that is a direct threat to people of faith and traditional morality in the City of Houston. The ordinance would give government new power to force private individuals and businesses to affirm homosexual conduct and actual or perceived “gender identity” or face serious criminal penalties, will allow men access to women’s bathrooms and locker rooms and some provisions can be enforced against churches. Read more analysis of the ordinance.

A standing-room-only crowd was present at the hearing, the majority of which were strongly opposed to the ordinance. Our president Jonathan Saenz testified about the serious religious freedom issues of the ordinance. A diverse group of pastors, the Houston Area Pastors Council, Houston Ministers Against Crime and Baptist Ministers Association also expressed opposition and highlighted the fear that the ordinance would allow sexual predators to lie about their gender to attack women or children in restrooms, as has been seen in other cities with similar ordinances.

Media Alert: Texas Values president Jonathan Saenz will be on FRC’s Washington Watch with Tony Perkins Radio Program to talk about the Houston LGBT Ordinance this afternoon at 4:05 CST. You can listen live here.

Exciting Announcement: Texas Values Action, the new advocacy and legislative action arm of Texas Values, launched its website this week at txvaluesaction.org. Check it out and learn how you can more aggressively impact our state for faith, family, and freedom.

Conservatives Unite Against Free Speech Attacks

The Texas House State Affairs Committee, under Chairman Byron Cook (R – Corsicana) had an invitation-only hearing on Thursday supporting Speaker Joe Straus’ efforts to consider unconstitutional actions that would harm the free speech rights of non-profit organizations that participate in political speech. Last legislative session, Governor Perry vetoed a bill, supported by the House Leadership and Democrats, that would require non-profits that attempt to engage in political speech to reveal the names of their donors. Now the committee is looking to bypass the legislative process and adopt an unconstitutional rule.

Leaders from leading grassroots conservative organizations spanning social and fiscal issues came together to address the unconstitutional actions being considered in a press conference before the hearing.  The rights to freedom of association and freedom of speech are fundamental to a free society and should be preserved at all costs. Across the country, these constitutional rights are being assaulted by an activist government and its enablers that seek to silence and intimidate faith-based non-profits and their donors for opposing efforts to redefine marriage. We must reject attempts to bring these Obama IRS tactics to Texas that would punish those who support marriage and religious freedom. Read more and view the press conference.

SD 4 Special Election Voters Guide

Early voting is now underway in the May 10 Special Election for Texas State Senate District 4 (SD 4). The election will fill the seat vacated by Sen. Tommy Williams. If you live in SD 4, which includes Jefferson, Chambers and part of Montgomery and Harris counties, check out the Texas Values Action Voters Guide for the SD 4 Special Election at FreeVotersGuide.com and view where all four candidates in the race stand on the issues. View the Guide.

National Day of Prayer, Texas Prayer Breakfast

Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme is Romans 15:6:  “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We were excited to attend the Texas Prayer Breakfast this week that featured Attorney General Greg Abbott. With increased attacks on our religious freedoms and on marriage and the family, it is so important that we take time to pray on a daily basis for healing for our nation and state.

 

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