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Beyond Bathrooms: Other Anti-LGBTQ Bills to Watch Out for This Session

LGBTQ Equality Texas Legislature
Republicans have filed more than a dozen bills that would target LGBTQ youth, override local control, and green light religious refusals.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s anti-transgender, so-called “bathroom bill.” Even though the backlash against Senate Bill 6 — a bill that would do nothing but target transgender Texans for discrimination — has been fierce and widespread, Republicans in the state Legislature aren’t stopping there. They’ve filed more than a dozen other anti-LGBTQ bills that threaten equality.

Target LGBTQ Youth

SB 242 by Sen. Konni Burton (R-Colleyville: 512-463-0110) would force educators to out LGBTQ students who are not ready — or don't feel safe — to come out to their parents.

HB 1362 by Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano: 512-463-0594) would prohibit public schools from implementing policies that would allow transgender youth from using restroom and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity.

Status: SB 242, Referred to Senate Education Committee; HB 1362, Referred to House State Affairs Committee

Override Local Control

SB 92 by Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood: 512-463-0102) would prevent Texas cities and counties from enacting non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and further trample local control by repealing protections already on the books. In much of Texas today, it is totally legal for a gay, lesbian, transgender, or queer person to be fired from a job, evicted from their apartment, or denied service because of who they are. Local ordinances in cities like San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth provide protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Status: SB 92, Referred to Senate Business & Commerce Committee

Religious Refusals

SB 651 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock: 512-463-0128) would expand the definition of religious expression, and limit the enforcement of rules, regulations, and policies of state agencies that regulate business, occupation, or professional licensing. This broad “license to discriminate” bill would allow private individuals employed in more than 65 licensed occupations to deny services to people based on their “sincerely held religious belief.”

HB 428 by Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford: 512-463-0738) would provide religious student organizations an exemption from nondiscrimination policies of public colleges and universities if such policies do not conform to the student organization’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

HB 1805 by Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney: 512-463-0356) and SB 892 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock: 512-463-0128) would allow child welfare service providers to decline to provide, facilitate, or refer a person for child welfare services if it conflicts with the provider’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

HB 1813 by Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton: 512-463-0880) and SB 522 by State Sen. Birdwell (R-Granbury: 512-463-0122) would allow county clerks to pass off issuing marriage licenses to other certifying officials if issuing that marriage license conflicts with the clerk’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

HB 1923 by Rep. Matt Krause (R- Fort Worth: 512-463-0562) and SB 893 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola: 512-463-0271) would allow individuals and businesses to decline to provide services to any person if providing the service conflicts with the individual’s or business’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

HB 2779 by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R- Tyler: 512-463-0584) would allow private adoption and foster agencies in Texas to deny placement if it violates their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

HB 2795 by Rep Mike Lang (R- Granbury: 512-463-0656) would allow county clerks and deputy county clerks to decline a marriage license if doing so conflicts with “their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

HB 2876 by Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney: 512-463-0356) would allow wedding industry professionals and employees to refuse to serve clients if it conflicts with their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

HB 2878 by Rep Scott Sanford (R-McKinney: 512-463-0356) would allow health care professionals to refuse to treat patients if it conflicts with their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Status: SB 651, Referred to Senate Business & Commerce Committee; HB 428, Referred to House Higher Education Committee; SB 892, Referred to Senate State Affairs Committee; SB 893Referred to Senate State Affairs Committee; HB 1813, Referred to House State Affairs Committee; SB 522Referred to Senate State Affairs Committee; HB 1923, Referred to House State Affairs Committee