Two Texas Republicans have joined the fight to protect LGBT+ people in the state from discrimination. No, really
Two Texas Republicans have joined the fight to protect queer people in the state from discrimination, going against the extremely anti-LGBT+ Texas GOP platform.
State representatives Todd Hunter, of Corpus Christi, and Sarah Davis, of West University Place, have joined a group of state house members who are planning to file legislation in the next session to protect LGBT+ people statewide.
When lawmakers meet again in 2021 the group, which includes the two Republican Texas representatives and five of their Democratic counterparts, hope to pass a bill that would protect people from discrimination in employment, housing and accommodations based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to the Houston Chronicle, 21 US states already provide such protections for their LGBT+ residents.
Texas GOP oppose equal marriage, trans identities and bans on conversion therapy.
Davis and Hunter are up against the extremely anti-LGBT+ platform of the Texas GOP.
According to the platform: “We affirm God’s biblical design for marriage and sexual behaviour between one biological man and one biological woman, which has proven to be the foundation for all great nations in Western civilisation.
“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 behaviour, 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.”
The Texas GOP’s platform also supports the overturning of marriage equality, keeping conversion therapy legal, the abolition of sex education and opposes “all efforts to validate transgender identity”.
Republican says LGBT+ equality is good for all Texans.
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Davis told the Houston Chronicle of her decision to fight for nondiscrimination protections for LGBT+ Texans: “Quite frankly, we are already behind the curve on this issue.
“Nondiscrimination is not just good for LGBTQ community, but it’s good for all Texans.”
Lawmakers announced the bill in a virtual news conference, where they cited a study that showed the economic benefits of protecting the LGBT+ community.
The study found that a statewide nondiscrimination policy would generate $738 million in state revenue next biennium, and would add 180,000 new jobs in technology and tourism by 2025.
The bill will likely face massive opposition in the Texas Republican state senate.
Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick has previously opposed similar measures, and strongly back the state’s infamous “bathroom bill” which prevented trans people from using the correct public bathrooms.