July/August 2017 Church & State - July/August 2017

Texas Mulls Adoption, Bathroom Bills

  AU admin

Texas lawmakers passed a discriminatory adoption bill and are considering a so-called “bathroom bill.”

The adoption bill, HB 3859, would allow taxpayer-funded child welfare service providers to refuse to serve any child or family if doing so is contrary to the agency’s religious beliefs, creating a loophole for discrimination against same-sex couples, religious minority couples and others. The Senate gave the bill final approval, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed it on June 15. 

AU wrote a letter to Texas lawmakers in March, urging them to oppose the bill and noting that “allowing government money to flow to these institutions is a clear violation of one of the central principles of our country’s constitutional order: the State may not aid discrimination.”

Texas’ HB 2899, could discriminate against transgender people by prohibiting them from using public bathrooms that align with their gender identity. Abbott has described its passage as “a must” and has called Texas lawmakers to a special session to discuss HB 2899, among other bills, starting July 18.

Many LGBTQ rights groups are expressing concern at the discriminatory bill.

“Trans Texans have experienced harassment and threats because of this last session and if any anti-trans bills get signed into law, then Governor Abbott’s legacy will be turning Texas into a state known for harming some of its most marginalized people,” Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of LGBTQ rights group GLAAD, told the Associated Press on June 6.

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