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Equality Texas Responds to Indicted Attorney General Paxton’s Statement on North Carolina
Posted on May 9, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Paxton’s Extreme Political Agenda is Once Again on the Wrong Side of the Law

“Indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton once again demonstrates that his extreme political agenda has prejudiced his decision-making,” said Equality Texas board chair Steve Rudner. When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling on marriage equality, the Attorney General instructed county clerks throughout the state to disregard the federal law. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which covers North Carolina, ruled that discrimination against transgender Americans was discrimination based on sex, in violation of Title IX. “Now, the Attorney General wishes to bring North Carolina’s problems, boycotts and codified discrimination to Texas. Paxton is on the wrong side of the law again and wasting taxpayer dollars to further his own extremist agenda,” Rudner said.

It is the Attorney General’s job to uphold the law and extend the protection of the law to all citizens living in Texas. The Attorney General’s office continues to deliver unsound recommendations to the State Legislature, all but demanding measures to increase discrimination against the entire LGBT community. Texans have already lost time and money bearing the extraordinary costs associated with Paxton’s unsuccessful fight against marriage equality. His constituents should not be saddled with these high costs again to support his personal pursuits to ignore the law. A state the size of Texas cannot afford the economic losses currently being endured by North Carolina while the state steadfastly clings to a law demonizing the entire LGBT community. We call upon the Attorney General to set his personal politics aside and conduct himself in accordance with the law.

“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is an abysmal chief lawyer for the state of Texas. Not only is he under indictment for a series of felonies, but he recently hired the two top leaders in his office, Hiram Sasser as Chief of Staff and First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer, who at the First Liberty Institute in Plano have a long record of discriminating against LGBT Texans. HB2 discriminates against the over 37,800 transgender people in North Carolina. This is not what Texans want. Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable. His salary is paid for by the taxpayers. The Attorney General should not be using taxpayer money to discriminate against his own constituents,” said Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas.

Research from the Williams Institute conducted as part of a collaboration between the Williams Institute and Out Leadership shows that the law impacts an already vulnerable LGBT community in North Carolina:

  • North Carolina is home to over 336,000 LGBT people aged 13 and older.
  • LGBT Adults in North Carolina: Over 250,000 LGBT adults live in North Carolina, including 22,200 transgender adults.
  • 44 percent of LGBT adults in North Carolina are people of color; 29% are African-American compared to 22% of LGBT adults in the South and 15% in the United States
  • There are 168,900 LGBT workers in the state
  • There are 18,300 same-sex couples in the state, and 1 in 5 of those couples are raising children. Of the same-sex couples raising children, 1 in 10 have adopted children
  • North Carolina is home to over 86,000 LGBTQ youth aged 13-19, including 15,600 transgender youth.

HB2 is bringing new challenges to an already challenging environment for LGBT people. Public statements by the Attorney General congratulating national extremists are an attempt to distract us from his serious federal indictment. We believe Paxton needs to stop using taxpayer money to discriminate against Texans or resign to take care of his numerous personal legal issues.