Please oppose two religious privilege bills in Texas House

The first bill, HB 1035, titled the “Free to Believe Act,” is a religious exemption bill allowing individuals to discriminate specifically on the basis of two anti-LGBTQ religious beliefs: that marriage is between a man and a woman and that gender refers to “an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at the time of birth.” It also reintroduces the transphobic “bathroom bill” language from last session.

The second bill is similar to the infamous Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which allows people, businesses, and/or corporations to violate generally applicable civil rights laws by claiming that their religious beliefs require them to violate anti-discrimination laws. This bill, HB 3172, similarily codifies religious privilege by prohibiting action against anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

These bills would apply these sweeping religious exemptions to actions by the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the State Bar of Texas, or a court in the state, with the exception of government employees acting within the scope of their job. The House State Affairs Committee will review these bills in a hearing THIS WEDNESDAY, April 17. Please use our automated system to contact the members of the committee and ask that they vote no on HB 1035 and HB 3172.

If you are able to attend Wednesday’s hearing in Austin, it will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Capitol Extension Room E2.014 inside the state Capitol building. Public comments are limited to two minutes.


Freedom From Religion Foundation

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