Great News from Austin!

Texas Legislative Session ends with NO anti-LGBT bills being passed

By Chris Lindsey & Liz Rodriguez | 2015 FC Co-Chairs

By Chris Lindsey & Liz Rodriguez | 2015 FC Co-Chairs

When the 2015 Texas Legislative Session began, we were all prepared for the worst.  More than 20 blatantly anti-LGBT pieces of legislation were introduced that would have done harm to marriage equality, transgender health and well-being, same-sex couples’ adoption rights, and much more. With the most conservative state legislature Texas has seen in a long time in place, we were concerned that something very damaging to the LGBT communities could easily happen.
 
Well, the 84th Legislative session ended yesterday, and we are very happy and relieved to report that NOT ONE of the 20+ bad bills passed!  Every one of them was defeated! The worst that the Texas State Senate could do was to pass a non-binding resolution that stated the opposition to marriage equality by a group of fewer than two dozen Senators.
 
HRC is proud to have played a leading role in defeating these bills. Our actions in Austin and across the state to mobilize opposition to these bills were critical to their defeat. These great results are also the product of a lot of hard work and investment by a number of our partners including Texas Freedom Network, the ACLU of Texas, Equality Texas and Freedom to Marry, among many others. 
 
This session, we saw unprecedented support for LGBT rights from the business community. When hundreds of businesses, large and small, tell legislators that discrimination is not a Texas value, they listen.  And, not only did they listen, but they also acted to make sure that laws that would permit discrimination did not pass.
 
As we enter Pride Month, we have a lot to celebrate. Let’s take pride in ourselves and all that we have accomplished together so far! But, while we were able to stop a lot of bad legislation, we were not able to pass any of the good legislation that our communities need.
 
Did you know that there are still no statewide protections for LGBT people in employment, housing or public accommodation? Did you know that Texas still has a law on the books that criminalizes sodomy (It’s unconstitutional, but it’s still there!) Did you know that same-sex couples in Texas are not permitted to have BOTH parent’s names on a birth certificate? And the list goes on!
 
We all worked hard this session and are encouraged by the results. Later this month, we hope that the Supreme Court decides in favor of marriage equality nationwide. But there is still so much work to be done. Let’s celebrate our victories, but please keep up your support of HRC and all the work we are doing here in Texas and across the country to achieve equality for everyone!