Texas LGBTQ Caucus marks great victory, feared bill lawyers feared

The 86th legislature runs from January 8 to May 27. From the state budget to the health service to the education policy – and the policy behind it – we focus on what Texans need to know about the two-year legislative session.

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In their first major test, members of the Texas House's LGBTQ Caucus helped turn muscle down a bill on Thursday night that they characterized as an attack on gay rights and protection.

The five female lawmakers of the First Caucus used a parliamentary maneuver to delay and eventually defeat House Bill 31[ads1]72 by Fort Worth Republican Matt Krause, a measure he said would protect religious people and organizations from government attacks and authorize the lawyer in Texas bringing lawsuits in the defense.

With Texas House racing against the midnight deadline to look at bills, the Republic of Julie Johnson, a Carrollton Democrat and Attorney for a long time, enlightened with an "order statement" – a process policy aimed at delaying or killing a bill. It was shot down. But she had a second order on the sleeve, and this one – to many surprise – was stuck. Although possible, the Krause target can be changed to another law in the deviating days of the legislative meeting. The clock has run out of this bill.

"LGBTQ Caucus is in the house," Johnson said in an interview on the house floor shortly after the bill was defeated. "We get things done and we're here to stay."

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Krause's defeat – which many LGBTQ lawyers considered the most serious threat to reach the house floor this season – took less than an hour. And it marked a huge shift in tone in a chamber that has been less conservative since mid-2018. This session, the pro-LGBTQ initiative, has made outstanding progress in the Republican majority in Texas House and earns debate in committees for the first time – Although few, if any, are expected to be allowed. Krause's deaths were particularly striking given how close a very controversial "bill of the sun" had to be allowed during the last legislative session.

"This religious freedom effort is far from over. We will not allow clear will of the majority of Texans and a two-party majority of the Texas legislator to be received by anyone," says Jonathan Values, President of Texas Values ​​Action. [19659005] Then came Krause's bill to the House floor, it was already substantially watered down. It followed a hearing statement from the end of the night, which drew passionate opposition from the LGBTQ community. As it was presented Thursday, the bill would have prevented government entities from taking " unfavorable measures "against individuals or organizations based on their" Membership in, affiliation with or contribution, donation or other support to a religious organization "- protection which is already largely enshrined in applicable law, some groups, such as Texas Impact, a faith-based organization that opposes discriminatory measures, removed the opposition to the bill after its toughest language was removed.

But LGBTQ lawyer Aths and lawmakers still feared the bill could be changed or restored to its original version in a messy floor battle – especially in the more socially conservative Texas Senate, which has already passed a so-called religious denial.

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Krause said he would not have allowed permits from both chambers and added that he was disappointed that the house did not have the opportunity to debate the bill, especially after the revised measure had removed so much of the language that caused advocacy concern .

"Not only was there no discriminatory purpose, it was not discriminatory language," Krause said. "There was no discriminatory opportunity with this bill. We worked very hard to make sure that was the case." Krause's bill would also have given the Texas Lawyer's associate state or government entity to force them to comply with the measure. This provision would have laid the groundwork for Advocate General Ken Paxton to sue San Antonio, a city that has often drawn ire and jurisdiction – in its office. Paxton launched a survey of the City Council's decision earlier this year to keep Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant at the city's airport. A council member, Robert Treviño, asked to block the franchise from a slate of contracts and said he could not support a company with "a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior."

Supporters of the Krause Bill had promised their potential to "#SaveChickFilA." The Interest Group of Texas Values ​​- best known for directing responsibility for the "bill" that dominated Capitol talks in 2017 – had worked to drum up support to the Krause proposal on a "Save Chick-File-A" story day at the Capitol in April, a full-time case that began with a lunchtime session and ended in the early hours the next morning in a hearing committee of witnesses.

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