Texas House GOP Passes Discriminatory Bill Targeting Kids in CPS

Religious Refusal CPS Texas
The broad ‘license to discriminate’ bill uses religion to target vulnerable kids, LGBTQ Texans, and reproductive freedom.

On the same day Republicans in the Texas Senate passed a bill licensing for-profit “baby jails” as child care facilities for immigrant kids, House GOP passed a bill green-lighting discrimination against LGBTQ Texans and limits the reproductive health care options available to vulnerable teenagers in CPS. HB 3859, which advanced on a 94-51 vote, is a discriminatory and dangerous religious refusal bill targeting the state’s broken Child Protective System.



Using religious belief as an excuse, a state-funded, private agency could deny placement of a child with someone who is gay, transgender, or a single woman. A foster family could effectively block a teenager from accessing birth control or an abortion. An exchange between Rep. Rafael Anchia (D- Dallas) and Rep. Lina Ortega (D- El Paso) drove home the real threats this expansively discriminatory bill would pose to vulnerable kids, LGBTQ equality, and reproductive freedom.

The threats posed by this bill are even more disturbing given that state lawmakers are also reforming CPS this session by outsourcing many core services for vulnerable children to faith-based organizations.



Progressive Democrats waged a fight against HB 3859 throughout the debate, raising multiple procedural points of order to kill the bill and proposing amendments that would work to mitigate the devastating impact of the bill.



House GOP, who throughout the debate under the leadership of HB 3859 author Rep. James Frank (R- Wichita Falls) misrepresented the need and impact of this broad “license to discriminate” bill, voted against each of these amendments.