A Texas Republican senator introduced a measure Monday that would allow businesses and services to openly discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of religious beliefs, Lone Star Q reports.
The proposal, issued by Sen. Donna Campbell (R), would strengthen “existing protections for the ‘right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief.’”
Proposals of a similar nature were ultimately struck down in Kansas, North Carolina, South Dakota, Arizona, and Oregon. And this isn’t the first time Campbell has tried to pass discriminatory legislation; she tried to get a similar proposal through the state government last year, too.
But as Texas Monthly reported, it was met with some somewhat odd resistance, even from those who hold the same extreme right-wing beliefs as Campbell. Joe Pojman, executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life, said in a meeting over the resolution in 2013 that his group opposed her resolution because they were afraid “abortion would become a religious right and taxpayers would be forced to pay for abortions.”
Supporters of Campbell’s proposal, of course, have played the “war on Christians” card as justification for what is being called a “license to discriminate” by its detractors.
“There is a war raging in our country right now that threatens to eradicate religious freedoms,” said Jeff Mateer, general counsel for the conservative Liberty Institute last year. “The hostility against religious liberty has reached an all-time high. The attacks are increasing, and they are unprecedented.”
They are also imaginary. The beauty of the US Constitution is that it grants all Americans religious freedom, as long as those religious beliefs do not 1) influence the actions of the government, and 2) infringe upon the rights of others, which Campbell’s proposal clearly would.
Any rational person can see that Campbell’s plan is simply another attempt by the GOP to use religious freedom as a guise to discriminate against anyone they don’t like, which is everyone who isn’t white, heterosexual, and Christian. But like they say, everything is bigger in Texas, including hate.