Angela Hale, Equality Texas, 512-289-2995, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Closing Weeks of Session, a Moment of Victory, But Serious Threats Remain for the LGBTQ Community – All Eyes on the House Calendars Committee
Austin- May 2, 2019- Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ Texans, declares victory against the threat to local nondiscrimination ordinances for the moment, but remains on high alert in the face of pending threats in the House Calendars committee.
Last night shortly after midnight, the House State Affairs committee passed (9-2) SB 2486 (Creighton), which preempts local ordinances regarding private businesses —with restored language protecting local Non- Discrimination Ordinances (NDOs). This is a huge victory for the LGBTQ community although the work is far from over. The language is unlikely to survive Dan Patrick’s Senate, which early in the session stripped the NDO carve-out out of the original bill. This bill must be on the top of our watch list.
We are also closely watching two threats that have been sent to the House Calendars Committee: HB 3899 (Springer) and HB 3172 (Krause). Both bills are vehicles for anti-LGBTQ amendments on the House Floor and have the potential to deeply undercut the LGBTQ community if altered in Dan Patrick’s Senate.
Samantha Smoot, the Interim Executive Director for Equality Texas, said, “Over the last two months, hundreds of LGBTQ Texans have come to the Capitol to testify, called, or sent emails to legislators with messages about the importance of nondiscrimination protections. Last night’s vote to restore NDO protections to SB 2486 showed that those messages are having an impact. While this was an important victory, more battles lie ahead. Dan Patrick has already showed his hand by stripping NDO protections from the original bill, and his animus towards LGBTQ people means NDOs remain in jeopardy.”
Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.