Texas Lawmakers Approve Bill Allowing Professionals To Discriminate Against LGBTQs

GOP lawmakers in Texas prepare legislation to legalize LGBTQ discrimination
GOP lawmakers in Texas prepare legislation to legalize LGBTQ discrimination

Republican lawmakers in Texas approved a bill on Monday that would allow state-licensed professionals to discriminate against LGBTQ people, or anyone they want to refuse services, based on their religious beliefs.

The Austin Statesman reports that Senate Bill 17 would give professionals who are licensed by the state – like lawyers, physicians, barbers and pharmacists – the ability to turn away anyone they don’t want to serve or do business with.

The legislation includes a requirement that medical professionals treat patients who are at risk of death or serious injury. And licensed law enforcement officers would not be covered by the law.

The bill’s author, state Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), says the legislation is necessary to make sure that state licensing bodies don’t punish or retaliate against religious professionals who may take actions predicated by “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“Living our faith does not stop when we start to work,” Perry told the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday.

“When we see what we may perceive as immoralities, those people who hold those beliefs should be able to defend their faith without fear of losing their livelihood and their license,” added Perry.

But opponents of the bill say “sincerely held religious beliefs” are a vague concept that could ultimately excuse any unprofessional behavior.

Among those testifying at the committee hearing were a dozen members of the clergy, including Rabbi Nancy Kasten, who told lawmakers living according to religious beliefs “should never be confused with permission to use faith as a weapon against those who do not share those beliefs.”

Rev. William Knight, from the Metropolitan Community Church of San Antonio, agreed saying, “Love does not withhold care for those in need because of a difference in belief.”

The Statesman reports a “vast majority” of the nearly-60 people who showed up at the hearing opposed the bill.

But in the end, the measure was approved to the full Senate by a vote of 7-1. All six Republicans on the committee plus Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) supported the legislation. Only Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) voted against the bill.

But wait – there’s more!

SB 17 is just the first of many GOP-sponsored bills in the pipeline that would create new faith-based protections allowing LGBTQ discrimination:

• SB 1107 would give medical professionals the ability to refuse performing nonemergency treatment that offends their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

• HB 1035 would allow any marriage-related business to legally turn away same-sex couples, give county clerks the ability to opt-out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, revoke any ordinances that require providing trans-friendly bathrooms, and protect religious groups who refuse to hire anyone whose beliefs don’t align with their own.

• Similarly, HB 4497 would bar local municipalities and state agencies from punishing any business or professional who decline to provide “marriage-related goods and services.”

• SB 1978 would prohibit state agencies and local governments for taking “any adverse action” against those who may discriminate thanks to their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

• HB 4357 would protect any faith-based counselors who practice so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ which purports to ‘heal’ individuals of homosexuality. The dangerous and harmful practice has been denounced by practically all major medical organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

(h/t Austin Statesman)

70 thoughts on “Texas Lawmakers Approve Bill Allowing Professionals To Discriminate Against LGBTQs”

  1. Everything about Christianity has been borrowed or stolen from religions or belief systems that predated it. Christmas and Easter from the Druids. The virgin birth and being the son of god from Egypt. Their god Horace came from a virgin birth and was the son of god. There are many other virgin birth/son of god stories in the Greek and Roman pantheon of gods. Most if not all of these gods are credited with miracles such as raising the dead, healing the sick and other miracles attributed to Jesus. The Bible was written anytime between 75 to 200 years after Jesus death and has been translated from the original Aramaic into a multiple languages over and over. There were words that had no direct translation so the transcriber would just choose a word he thought would work which sometimes could change the entire meaning of the sentence. At a gathering of clerics, mostly Catholic bishops, in the late Middle Ages, The group decided what books would be included in the Bible. They left out no one knows how many books, but they did leave books written by women and the books written by the apostle Thomas. With all this happening to the Christian’s holy book, I don’t think they can use it to prove anything about their religion. It compares to using a copy of Aesop’s fables to base a religion upon.

  2. These bigots need to read the constitution of the United States that clearly states the following… First Amendment “separation of church and state. The principle that government must maintain an attitude of neutrality toward religion. … The First Amendment not only allows citizens the freedom to practice any religion of their choice, but also “prevents the government from officially recognizing or favoring any religion“.

    I am so over this bullshit!

  3. No matter what some piss-ant in Texas says, if you violate your Hippocratic Oath in the course of your medical duties to me, I will force your ass out of business and I will make you unemployable in the medical field.

    That is a promise.

  4. What religion preaches that you should not help people if they don’t believe the same as you or are a different religion? That is a terrible and evil religion! I think there will be law suits and these “laws” will be thrown out as unconstitutional.

    • Who is investigating the “natural” inclination (sexual) of the professional who is denying his/her services? I humane!

      • I received an excellent university education and training as a Registered Nurse 40 years ago here in Texas and this goes against everything I studied and learned. It sickens me.

      • The Bible clearly states God loves, accepts , and supports lgbtq people. So lgbtq can use the Bible to ensure these people perform their duties described in their job description. If they don’t, they are liable , and will be unemployed

  5. It is in sincerely held religious belief that I can not give medical care to raciest and bigots. My Gods, simply don’t tolerate their ignorance.

    • The Bible does not state anything you have said. And that is the problem! You should read it. Genesis 2 clearly states woman was created only because man was ALONE. Nothing about reproduction. Matthew again Clearly states divorcing a woman is immoral , leaving here without nothing is immoral. Any other questions ?
      These people refuse to read the Bible , unless they can find something they think can injure and harm someone else

  6. I am an LGBTQ Christian. 1 john 4:7-8 says beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God he who does not love does not know God. Point blank there’s a lot of these so un educated Christians who don’t even follow the rules of the creator they claim……… oh yes, my bible says that there are many who claim to believe, but don’t.

        • We will see come judgement day, I’ll be sure to wave at you when we get there, I’m glad my salvation is decided by my loving father instead of a hateful brother. Blessings to you my brother in christ.

    • There is no such thing as a sodomite Christian. There’s no such thing as a drunk Christian, no such thing as a promiscuous Christian, no such thing as a dishonest Christian. People who live in their sin and refuse to repent of that which is ungodly, can deceive themselves and think they believe, but their god is an idol, an invention in their mind that excuses, or worse, condones their wicked ways. The Israelites called the golden calf “Elohim” – or “God” – but that was a creation at the hands of Aaron. Same as this false god who “accepts” and is “tolerant” and “loving” of the very things that Jesus was beaten half to death for. He was hit, his beard was yanked ou, his flesh was ripped apart, he was mocked, ridiculed, bleeding from all over his body, and from every thorn that dug into his scalp. He was then pierced with nails and hung there to die by painful, excruciatingly painful suffocation. All that for you. Because of your sins.

      To hang on to your sins and say that He is okay with them, after all that He went through to save you from those sins, is the ultimate slap in His face. You need to put the hammer down and stop pounding the nails into His feet and hands, and instead kneel down before Him in reverence, and humility, confessing and forsaking your sins. THAT is the way of salvation. Peace…..

      • Why don’t you instead take YHWH to task for requiring a human sacrifice to keep Himself from frying the whole of humanity for eternity?

        Doesn’t that sound the least bit twisted and evil to you, “Anonymous”? (And isn’t *that* a cowardly way to not hide your light under a bushel.)

  7. You must have a personal conflict within yourself. Perhaps it is you that is confused. Are you struggling with your sexuality? Is that what makes you a hate monger?

  8. What does your limited view of human relationships and how they interact under the aegis of an alleged Deity have to do with business discrimination?

    And take some personal responsibility for your own words; “Anonymous” is a cop-out.

    • Matt.7 Verses 3 to 5. [3] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? … [5] Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

  9. Doing business is a PRIVILEGE, not a right.
    Having a government job and holding a license (like a medical license) is a PRIVILEGE, not a right.

    Holding the PRIVILEGE means that you are REQUIRED to carry out the duties of your job WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION according to Federal law AND THE Constitution.

    The Texas law won’t stand. Religious freedumb doesn’t trump the Constitution. It’s BEEN adjudicated ALREADY.

  10. These bills violate MY long and deeply held religious beliefs.

    On what basis are professionals to withhold services? On what basis will they determine a person is violating their religious beliefs? How would they document that they made a fair and just determination that their faith will not allow them to provide this or that service for each individual the refuse to serve? If I were an ER surgeon, what if I refused to do anything to save a legislator’s life because I knew they had violated my religious beliefs by voting for one or more of these laws?

  11. You know what none of this would be necessary if the radical LGBTQ community would simply shut up if someone refused them marriage services because of their religious beliefs. You can’t force someone to service you in a manner that adheres to their religious beliefs. The way this article is written is simply to inspire further hate towards people with religious beliefs just because they dont line up with you’re own.. You HAVE TOO SERVE ME.. YOU HAVE TO GIVE ME WHAT I WANT IDC IF YOU DONT BELIEVE IN IT. YOU HAVE TOO ADDRESS ME BY MY PRONOUNS.. This radical LGBTQ privilege is out of control.. So much so it’s an embarrassment to conservative lgbtq people such as myself. I’m a child of God before anything else.

    • Everyone is subject to public-accommodation law. It applies to everyone equally. If I had a sincere religious belief that I could not serve women because being within 20′ of them would give me demonic cooties, I would be better served not running a public accommodation at all.
      This legislation could be used as an end-run bypassing any and ALL anti-discrimination law, and that end-run has no place in a secular, pluralistic society.

  12. With this recent bill being passed in Texas, is there a list of Professionals who have admitted to wanting to discriminate? If so has anyone compiled a list of these “people”? I would like to know who is so hateful because I refuse to patronize such businesses/professionals. TIA

  13. The word “discriminate” is such a strong and negative word. Perhaps what they mean is “they are free to decline” not necessarily because they belong to the LGBT Community, but because they’re rude or a potential bad behavior.

    • The word “slavery” is such a strong and negative word.
      Perhaps what they mean is “aggressive incentive to work” not necessarily because they belong to the African-American community, but because they’re shiftless or a potential bad influence.

      PS. Parody and sarcasm remain legitimate ways to highlight a point.

      • There has been more white slaves than black. The Irish has been enslaved the longest. Most black slaves were sold into slavery by their own. Slavery is dead and gone and so was prejudice until Obama come in and opened old wounds. No one alive today has been enslaved so why keep trying to something as nothing. I believe any business should be able to refuse service to whom ever they choice

  14. other states tried this same thing and when bills were passed, they were thrown out as unconstitutional..But certain people still think they can control others thru their “beliefs”, that say certain people are not worth of love or other things *shakes head* Texas is really starting to make me ashamed i’m from there

    • Wait, what? How exactly is refusing your labor/services considered controlling others but forcing someone to provide you with said labor/services not controlling? Look I think refusing service to anyone based on immutable characteristics is not only a shitty thing to do but just stupid business wise but if that business owner wants to be shitty and probably run his business into the ground well its his business to do with as he pleases.

      • Putting your shingle out in the public square binds you to laws governing public accommodations. It’s part’n’parcel, and, if you don’t like it, instead of whining that you don’t get to discriminate against people you don’t like, you should get out of the situation putting you under the law, and quit doing business in that milieu.

  15. Time to flood the Texas Legislators with No to passing such discriminatory legislation. Boycott Texas like they did my home state of Indiana when Pence tried to pass the anti LGBTQ Restoration Of Religious Freedom Act. They are doing the same thing as he did but calling it by another name. It cost our state a billion dollars in revenue because of his stupidity.

  16. Gee if lgbt is Sooooo right then please go to a Muslim or Jewish baker and demand that they make a LGBT cake….watch what happens

    • The same thing that happens when they try to get served by a Christian, apparently.

      Looks like you have to go to an atheist if you want to be treated with respect.

  17. It must be a miserable existance living with that much hate in your heart. My higher power says to love thy neighbor as you love yourself. I wouldn’t want to be part of any “religion” that teaches otherwise.

  18. KEEP YOUR RELIGION OUT OF OUR POLITICS. They call US snowflakes, but in reality, they’re the ones being OFFENDED that we DARE love.

  19. Here’s the thing. Lots of bills get filed when the Texas Lege meets. A smaller number get approved by committees. An even smaller number are passed by one house or the other. Stupid bills like this one, that people know will get thrown out by a court challenge, don’t stand much chance of passing both houses and going to the governor. That does not mean that we should let the process go forward without calling our reps and giving them an earful.

  20. They are not human, and they think they are perfect!! No they are stupid and they never know what happens with their family later on. Give them shit.

  21. There using religion to discriminate, very un-christian of them all. Hopefully a federal judge will strike it down as a hate law.

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