Texas Values: Top Stories of 2022
Christmas Parade Ban & Save Womens Sports Lead the Way
This year was full of many victories for the life of the pre-born child and religious liberty of everyday Texans. Our nation saw the most monumental U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson case in June. Additionally, the Court gave a football coach his job back after being fired for praying and ruled that the Biden administration could not force vaccines one employees. The Save Women’s Sports movement gained attention like never before when female athletes courageously spoke out against male swimmer Lia Thomas competing against women in NCAA swimming. However, new issues arose with inappropriate books in school libraries and the fight to stop childhood gender transitioning continues.
Below are some of the top stories of 2022 on the issues of religious liberty, marriage/family, and life:
Roe v. Wade Overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court: The most notable story and significant issue of the year without question is the U. S. Supreme Court overturning the abortion case, Roe v. Wade (in the Dobbs v. Jackson court case from Mississippi). Roe v. Wade is a case that started in Dallas County in 1973 and legalized abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. The opinion of the court was delivered on June 24, 2022. Texas Values signed on to an amicus brief in the Dobbs case and was present outside of the Supreme Court the day of oral arguments. Texas Values and similar groups will continue to inform women of life-affirming resources and advocate for the enforcement of our pro-life laws that protect the pre-born. More information can be found here.
Texas Pro-life Laws (Texas Heartbeat Law and Human Life Protection Act) Upheld: The Texas Heartbeat Law protects unborn babies from abortion after a heartbeat is detected and the Human Life Protection Act protects babies through all nine months of pregnancy. After Roe v. Wade was overturned, both prevailed and went into effect after numerous court challenges by the Biden administration and abortion groups. Since the Texas Heartbeat Law went into effect, it is estimated that as many as 71,000 babies’ lives have been saved from abortion. Texas Values was involved every step of the way, supporting these laws during the legislative process and providing support for them during the legal battle as well. More information can be found here.
State Board of Education Keeps ‘In God We Trust’ in Schools, Rejects Critical Race Theory and Woke LGBT Takeover of Teaching Standards: Texas parents and students achieved a great victory at the State Board of Education (SBOE) with the pause on the review and revision of the Social Studies standards and the vote to reject Critical Race Theory. Texas Values was involved in all phases of this work, including appearing at numerous SBOE public hearings to provide expert and key testimony on these issues. This the third time in over 10 years that Texas Values team members have helped protect the teaching of Moses and “In God We Trust” in Texas schools. This victory comes after almost a year of fighting for accurate and sufficient history standards. Many drafts for proposals to the Social Studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) contained radical content and struck important religious liberty historical facts like our national motto “In God We Trust.” More information can be found here.
Save Women’s Sports Movement Grows After Texas Male Swimmer Dominates in NCAA Women’s Championships: For several years, more and more men have been allowed to compete in the women’s division of sports. But after Will/Lia Thomas was allowed to compete against women in the NCAA women’s swimming championships early this year and he took first place — knocking women off the trophy podium — women across the country had finally had enough and started speaking out publicly in an individual and organized way. Women athletes like Riley Gaines, Taylor Silverman, Chris Everett, and organizations like Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) and Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), and former University of Texas athletes began getting major media and social media attention with their opposition. This groundswell of push-back comes as Texas prepares to pass a new state law in its 2023 Texas Legislative session to protect women from having men compete against them in college sports. Texas passed a law in 2021 that makes it clear that boys can’t compete against girls in athletic events for grades K-12. The law went into effect in January 2022. More information can be found here.
Religious Freedom Victories: Coach Kennedy Wins Supreme Court Football Prayer Case, Ban On Christians in Christmas Parade Stopped: After drag queens and their supporters took stage at the Taylor, Texas, Christmas Parade, Christians found themselves targeted for be excluded from such city events by the City Council. After much pressure and national news and outcry, the City of Taylor postponed the vote on the proposed new law after Texas Values and others showed up.
Coach Joe Kennedy won his right to prayer after high school football games, even though he was forced to wait over seven years for this historic victory. Texas Values supported this case with a legal amicus brief at the U. S. Supreme Court; First Liberty Institute CEO and Texas Values board member Kelly Shackelford represented Coach Kennedy in this monumental case. Coach Kennedy made two appearances at Texas Values events to share the value of his victory. More information here and here.
Biden Vaccine Mandate Blocked by U. S. Supreme Court: In a 6 to 3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court halted (in January 2022) enforcement of President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 employees, saying that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is authorized to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures. Texas Values, along with leaders and representatives from 29 other states, led a coalition of state family policy council organizations from across the country in opposing the illegal Biden employee vaccine mandate by filing a legal amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court. More information here.
Texas GOP Convention Lists Ban on Gender Modification Third in Legislative Priorities: This year, the Republican Party of Texas met in Houston where hundreds of delegates voted on the top eight legislative priorities to advocate at the Texas Capitol in the 88th Legislative session. Banning gender modification for minors was selected as the third most important legislative issue for the Texas GOP. Texas voters agreed that they wanted to see an end to chemical castration, cross-sex hormones, genital mutilation, and body alteration surgeries on children. With this issue being a top priority for Texans (along with Parental Rights in education), it is certain that there will be increased efforts to get legislation passed that will protect children from gender transitioning and sex-change operations.
Texas Makes Effort to Stop Pornographic Materials in School Libraries and Classrooms: Over the past year, many parents in Texas have sounded the alarm on the discovery of pornographic and obscene reading materials in public school libraries and classrooms. Former Representative Matt Krause informed the public of the problem when he requested an investigation of approximately 350 book titles that had inappropriate topics in them. In the spring of this year, Governor Abbott asked the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to respond to the growing concern of the pornographic materials in libraries and the Education Commissioner responded with a model policy for school districts to adopt to ensure that parents and school boards can review and control the materials selected by school librarians. Nevertheless, the problem continued to grow as Texas Values and hundreds of parents testified in a Texas House interim hearing of the growing concern of inappropriate classroom materials. This past fall, a public library in Llano County was sued in federal court for wanting to protect children from inappropriate materials by moving a book with nude characters and pictures of sexual acts out of the children section and into the adult section. Efforts will be made in the upcoming legislative session to make sure that obscene books do not enter the classroom.
Opposition to Drag Queen Striptease for Children Spreads Across the State: Many Texans have become aware of the increase of drag queen striptease performances that are being held for children in different parts of the state. Some pictures show children putting dollar bills down the underwear of men donning women’s make-up and lingerie. Other pictures show children walking down the runway with scantily clad “drag queens” or staring on in the audience as “drag queens” dance suggestively. One of the events held in June at the Mr. Misster bar in Dallas was called “Drag Your Kids to Pride,” clearly introducing the LGBT lifestyle and movement to children. Many elected officials have spoken out against these events that are rapidly spreading throughout the state, including Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. Texas Values, policy experts, parents, and legislators are proposing state laws that will prohibit people from performing these sexualized drag shows in the presence of children.
School Choice Movement Gains Momentum: After the pandemic, many parents became very aware and dissatisfied with the quality of their children’s education. Additionally, many parents became concerned over some of the viewpoints presented in schools that endorsed LGBT issues or sided with Critical Race Theory. The school choice movement has gained momentum over the past year. Parents want to be able to have choices outside of their local public school if that school is not adequately teaching their children. Governor Greg Abbott has voiced that he is supportive of school choice initiatives in Texas. School choice activists like Corey DeAngelis are spending a lot of time and effort in Texas to educate and motivate the public about expanding options for education. Many legislators are beginning to file legislation that will address this issue in the upcoming session.
Abortion Extremist Beto O’Rourke Defeated in Race for Texas Governor: After the victorious legislative session in 2021 where the Texas Heartbeat Law was passed and the Supreme Court decision later in June of this year that overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion activists became extremely active in finding political candidates they hoped would undermine our state’s pro-life laws. Beto O’Rourke ran for Texas governor on the platform of abortion running countless television ads, sending mail pieces, and holding special events on the topic of advocating for abortion favoring laws in Texas. Beto thought running on the platform of abortion was a winning strategy, but he was wrong. Despite spending $75 million on his campaign, Beto lost to Governor Greg Abbott, who signed both the Texas Heartbeat Law and Human Life Protection Act, by a double-digit margin earning only 43.8 percent of the votes to Abbott’s 54.8 percent. Despite being a well-known name and being promoted by celebrities all over the country, Beto performed so poorly that he received 7,000 votes less than Governor Abbott’s challenger from 2018, Lupe Valdez. Evidently, standing for the life of the pre-born child is a winning issue amongst Texas voters.
About Texas Values
Texas Values is the largest statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvalues.org