Gov. Abbott Issues Directive: State Officials Ordered To Respect Religious Freedom on Marriage Beliefs
Austin, TX, June 26, 2015 – Today, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a directive to state agencies and employees, ordering respect for religious freedom following the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same sex ‘marriage’. Gov. Abbott’s statement says in part:
“Texans of all faiths must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious freedom is beyond the reach of government. Renewing and reinforcing that promise is all the more important in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The government must never pressure a person to abandon or violate his or her sincerely held religious beliefs regarding a topic such as marriage.”
“This order applies to any agency decision, including but not limited to granting or denying benefits, managing agency employees, entering or enforcing agency contracts, licensing and permitting decisions, or enforcing state laws and regulations.”
Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz issued the following statement:
“Gov. Abbott’s leadership on religious freedom is timely and will be needed more and more in the days to come as the attacks on religious freedom are piling up. With an unlawful decision by the Supreme Court on marriage today, we expect this trend of disrespect for law to result in more attacks on people of faith who support marriage between one man and one woman. We believe this directive applies to situations addressed in HB 3864, which provided religious freedom for adoption and foster care providers for child welfare placement decisions.”
Texas Values filed a legal amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States on this issue and had staff in D.C. for the oral argument on this landmark case.