Texas GOP Stands Strong for Faith & Family
Last week at the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Convention, Texans from across the state gathered to set legislative priorities, create a platform of principles, and elect a Chairman. With nearly 10,000 delegates and attendees, many believe it is the largest political event in the United States.
Our team was on the ground every day (and into some late nights) working with committees to ensure the RPT prioritizes faith and family legislation and continues to have a strong platform emphasizing religious freedom, traditional marriage, pro-life, and pro-family values. We also had a great team working at our booth in the exhibit hall interacting with thousands of Texas Republicans, and we would like to give a special shout-out to our amazing interns, Ellen Stroud, Michael Johnson, and Carolyn Stritzke, for their hard work!
Our top goal for the RPT convention was to have a key piece of faith and family legislation included on the 2019 Legislative Priorities List. We achieved that goal. The committee and thousands of Texas delegates voted overwhelmingly to have religious freedom and privacy protection legislation included in the list of 5 priorities that the 2019 Texas Legislature must pass. Our team testified numerous times on different days before the Legislative Priorities Committee urging the committee to adopt privacy and religious freedom protections as an RPT priority in the upcoming 2019 legislative session. We are thankful that our voice and your voice was heard. The approved language reads:
Religious Freedom and Privacy:
Pass legislation prohibiting the violation of the rights and freedoms of individuals, organizations and businesses, to exercise their sincerely held religious beliefs by local ordinances or state laws; and pass legislation that protects the privacy and safety of women and children in multi-use facilities such as bathrooms, locker rooms and showers in all Texas schools and government buildings and oppose legislation that would undermine these privacy and safety protections.
RPT Platform, “God” Remains
Our team worked with the State Affairs and Education Platform Subcommittees, as well as the main Platform Committee on faith and family language for the 2018 Texas Republican Party Platform. At one point, a platform subcommittee removed “God” and biblical references out of a key plank on homosexual behavior, but our team worked successfully to ensure that language supporting “God” and “biblical design” language was placed back in this plank. Here are some of the 2018 pro-family planks:
- Child Rights (Privacy Protection)– “We call on the Texas Legislature to pass legislation to protect privacy in public schools and government buildings as allowed by Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, by ensuring multi-use facilities, including showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms, are designated for and used only by persons based on the person’s biological sex.” (Plank 311)
- Homosexual Behavior (includes Religious Freedom Protections )– “We affirm God’s biblical design for marriage and sexual behavior between one biological man and one biological woman, which has proven to be the foundation for all great nations in Western Civilization. We oppose homosexual marriage, regardless of state of origin. We urge the Texas Legislature to pass religious liberty protections for individuals, businesses, and government officials who believe marriage is between one man and one woman. We oppose the granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.” (Plank 316).
- Campus Speech– “…We support withdrawal of public funding from any college or university within this state that actively or passively discriminates or permits discrimination against the free speech of either students or guest speakers. Student groups shall have the unfettered right to elect their leaders, choose their members, and set their organization’s mission, purpose, and standard of conduct.” (Plank 116)
- Sexual Education– “…sexual education shall only utilize sexual risk avoidance programs and promote abstinence outside of marriage.” (Plank 121)
We are thankful for the strong, pro-family values in the Texas Republican Party. The Legislative Priorities and Platform contain more pro-family planks, including strong pro-life planks, which can be found at texasgop.org/delegates. There is still much work to be done, and we look forward to seeing the RPT work on these issues in the upcoming legislative session.
RPT Chairman’s Race: Dickey Wins
James Dickey was re-elected as Texas Republican Party Chairman (65-35%). Our advocacy arm, Texas Values Action endorsed Dickey in the race.