Texas House committee approves bill allowing county clerks to deny Gay marriage licenses over ‘religious’ conflicts
AUSTIN, Texas – Many believe that the state of Texas is going out of its way to target Gay people.
The recent approval of House bill SB 522 is not helping this theory.
The bill will allow county clerks to deny marriage licenses for Gay couples if it conflicts with their religious beliefs despite the Supreme Court ruling two years ago that legalized Gay marriage.
“It’s something that’s, these bills just going across and trying to like, this moment of payback for what’s happened with the victories that are gained,” Houston GLBT Caucus President Fran Watson said.
“I should be allowed to marry who I want to, when I want to and not have to wait for somebody to come in and do their job,” transgender resident Lou Weaver said.
“It should not be legal to discriminate against people who are a different sexual orientation than you,” William Dawson said. “I think it’s wrong and completely unfounded.”
“I think we should all have the freedom to love whoever we want to love,” Maree Ikonomou said.
But now SB 522 may be on a fast track to the governor’s desk.
The Lone Star State currently leads the nation in anti-LGBTQ legislation more than any other state according to stats from the Human Rights Campaign in Washington.
“Communities of difference are getting a voice, are getting progress and what happens is you want to roll back the status quo,” Watson said.
“Texas is once again telling it’s LG&B residents that they are not worthy of the same equality as their counterparts,” Weaver said.
Proponents of the bills said they are all about protecting religious beliefs and public safety but the LGBT community disagrees.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Taylor Anderson, a Gay community sympathizer, said. “I think that we are regressing as a society.”
“We believe that all Texans should be protected,” Watson remarked. “All Texans should be taken care of.”
One bill actually legalizes denying Gay couple’s adoption services.
“When we’re talking about the foster care system, we’re talking about kids effecting kids using Hate against communities of difference to hurt children,” Watson said.
Then, there’s the state’s controversial ‘Bathroom Bill’ that prevents transgender people from using the public bathroom of their choice.
“I don’t feel safe with any men being able to go into a restroom with probably younger women,” Houstonian Richard North said. “Especially, I got three daughters. I don’t want no man to be able to go into the restroom with them.”
State Representative Chris Turner, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, issued a statement about the ‘Bathroom Bill.’ “It’s sad that Governor Abbott is allowing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to dictate his agenda by pushing a discriminatory measure that will harm the Texas economy.”
Watson agreed. “And so this hurts Texas.”