Texas bills would force transgender facilities, ban counseling for unwanted gay attractions
AUSTIN, Texas, January 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrats in the Texas legislature have introduced a series of bills creating multiple LGBT “protected classes,” forcing various private entities and religious groups to accommodate homosexuality and disregard gender differences, and forcing doctors to approve “gender transitions,” according to a social conservative group in the state.
Last week, Texas Values Action (TVA) alerted the public to the introduction of eight different bills across the state House and Senate. The primary purpose of these bills is to add “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” as protected classes under the state’s Civil Practices and Remedies, Labor, and Property Codes.
These would require businesses such as wedding vendors to provide artistic services to same-sex “marriages”; government contractors to endorse certain beliefs on sexuality and gender; homeless shelters, colleges, and universities to let gender-confused individuals sleep near members of the opposite sex; property owners to open sex-specific restrooms or showers to gender-confused members of the wrong sex; and employers to pay for same-sex spousal benefits – all regardless of whether the business or facility in question is religious or has a moral objection.
One of the bills also bans counseling meant to help patients overcome unwanted same-sex attraction, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy. Another would formally repeal the state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and woman, which has been legally inoperable since the Supreme Court forced all 50 states to recognize same-sex “marriage” in 2015.
“These ‘Ban the Bible’ bills at the Texas Legislature shock the conscience and must be stopped,” said Texas Values senior policy analyst Nicole Hudgens. “Creating more government control and threatening Christians with jail time or fines does not create a tolerant society.”
“Any inclusion of men in women’s private spaces is a gross violation of their privacy and safety,” said former Concerned Women for America of Texas state director Ann Hettinger. “It is the job of every legislator to protect Texas women and we strongly oppose these ‘Ban the Bible’ bills.”
Bans on helping people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions saw a number of successes at the state level last year, despite the stories of former homosexuals like Angel Colon – a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting – and Drew Berryessa. They say they want others currently struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction to have the same options that benefited them.
Others point out such therapy is voluntarily sought, and that those who want to leave the homosexual lifestyle deserve to be able to pursue those desires.
“While recovering in the hospital, I had time to reflect. I learned about forgiveness. Lord, I choose you,” Colon said in June at a rally opposing a failed California ban. “I want others to have the freedom to experience this.”
Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Colorado baker Jack Phillips in his fight not to be forced to produce cakes for same-sex “weddings,” but did so based on state officials’ expressions of religious animus, leaving unresolved the question of a recognized right not to serve such events.
The Democrat-backed bills are unlikely to make it through Texas’ Republican-controlled legislature or, barring that, be signed by conservative Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.