State Reps. Celia Israel, Mary Gonzalez Erin Zweiner, Jessica Gonzalez and Julie Johnson, the Texas Legislature’s five openly LGBT members
Texas House Bill 3172, one of several “religious refusal” bills introduced in the 86th Texas Legislation, now underway in Austin, was stymied today thanks to members of the LGBT Caucus, who “executed parliamentary tactics to stop” it, according to a press release issued shortly after 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday, May 9) by Progress Texas.
State Rep. Julie Johnson, the Addison lesbian elected last November, stood on the floor of the House to read the Caucus’ technical objection to the bill, which would have given government officials, licensed professionals, businesses, and others the right to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ individuals by claiming “sincerely-held religious beliefs” as their reason for doing so. It was introduced by Fort Worth Rep. Matt Krause.
Erin Zweiner, the bisexual lawmaker from Driftwood who was also elected last November, said: “It’s time for Texas legislators of all stripes to quit using our community as a political wedge, move past hate, and focus on the real issues. I want this to be the last time that the Texas House brings a bill like this to the floor, a bill that was written to diminish the humanity of LGBTQIA+.”
Progress Texas Advocacy Director Sam Robles added, “This discriminatory religious refusal bill was a blatant attack on LGBTQIA+ Texans. We’re proud of our Texas progressives and the LGBTQ Caucus for standing up for all Texans.”
— Tammye Nash