Anti-LGBT Measures Gain Traction in Texas Legislature

It's not the bathroom bill, but its close.

A total of 14 bills filed this Texas legislative session deal with religious freedom. Today, a coalition of civil rights groups are converging on the state capitol to oppose them. Samantha Smoot, who heads Equality Texas, says they're un-American.

"It goes against our foundations as a country that people should be treated equally in the public square," she tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI.

One of those bills, SB 15 by State Senator Brandon Creighton, removes language protecting local policies that prohibit employment discrimination. Some feel that would wipe out San Antonio's non-discrimination ordinance, which added sexual orientation.

Senate Bill 17, if passed, would allow anybody who is licensed by the state of Texas to discriminate by claiming sincerely-held religious beliefs. That includes health care professionals.

"That means you could rush to the clinic with a broken arm or an allergic reaction only to be turned away because your family includes two moms or two dads," Smoot explains.

But groups like Texas Values say these bills are needed to protect Christian business owners, who they say are under fire from activists, who are gunning for them.

At an earlier rally in Austin, Edie DeLorme, a cake baker in Longview, TX says she was threatened because she declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

"Protecting the right of religious liberty is more than ensuring that a business owner is not forced to participate, validate, or promote something that violates their faith. It is about protecting the right for all of us- business owner, employee, and individual alike- to live according to our deeply held religious beliefs. As the mother of a Marine, our family wants people to know that we love our country, we want our freedom protected, and we want Texas to continue to protect our freedom to believe."

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