Courtesy of the LGBTQ Caucus
Members of the State Legislature's LGBTQ Caucus: State Representatives Celia Israel, Mary Gonzalez, Erin Zwiener, Jessica Gonzalez and Julie Johnson.
Members of the Texas House’s LGBTQ Caucus on Thursday struck a procedural death knell for a so-called "religious freedom" bill that civil-rights advocates considered an assault on the state's LGBTQ residents.
Members of the five-member caucus used a parliamentary move called a "point of order" to force the bill from the debate calendar, effectively removing any chance for a vote on it this legislative session, according to a Texas Tribune report
"Hopefully this is the day discrimination against the LGBT community dies in the Texas House," caucus-member Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, told the Dallas Morning News
. "I feel great... I'm going to go celebrate."
House Bill 3172, introduced by Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, would have prevented government entities from taking “adverse action” against individuals or groups based on their religious agendas. It also would have empowered the state's attorney general to sue governmental entities to force them to comply.
Defenders of the bill referred to it as the "Save Chick-fil-A bill," a reference to the City of San Antonio's recent vote not to allow Chick-fil-A to open a restaurant at the city's international airport based on the company's donations to groups with anti-LGBTQ agendas.
Bill opponents, however, argued that the measure would give people and businesses the right to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals simply by claiming their religious convictions allowed them to do so.
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