Yesterday, the Texas Senate passed SB 1978 (Hughes) in a 19-12 vote, a measure called the most discriminatory bill filed this session by LGBTQ rights activists.
“Senate Bill 1978 has one aim only: to undermine LGBTQ equality and promote anti-LGBTQ messages. In any form, this bill advances messages that hurt the LGBTQ community,” said Samantha Smoot, Interim Executive Director of Equality Texas.
“This bill is part of an insidious, coordinated strategy to advance anti-LGBTQ messages and discriminatory public policies. It’s an outrage that the Texas Legislature is advancing bills that harm LGBTQ people, in defiance of public support for equal rights and violation of pledges made in January that there would be no attacks on the LGBTQ community this session.”
SB 1978 and HB 1372 lifted strategy and even specific text directly from “Project Blitz,” a national far-right initiative to propagate model anti-LGBTQ legislation. (You can access the full Project Blitz manualhere.) Project Blitz is a creation of David Barton’s Wallbuilders and the Congressional Prayer Foundation.
“Is this how we want the 86th leg session to be remembered, on a bill we call a Chick-fil-A bill, an anti-LGBTQ bill?...The bill does nothing but target the LGBTQ community. It sends the wrong message, that Texas discriminates, plain and simple,” said Senator Royce West in a floor speech opposing the bill.
SB 1978 now advances to the House, where its companion, HB 3172, died last week after a Point of Order was filed. The bill will next go to the House State Affairs Committee.
Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.
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