For Immediate Release: Statement from Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas Regarding Ken Paxton’s Latest Efforts to Allow Discrimination Against Gay & Transgender People

Contact: DeAnne Cuellar, 512-474-5475, deanne.cuellar@equalitytexas.org 

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, his top leadership has a long record of discriminating against LGBT Texans.

The attorney general continues to intervene in lawsuits in other states that have nothing to do with his job serving as the Attorney General for the state of Texas, and he continues to waste taxpayer money in an obsession to discriminate against gay and transgender Texans.

This is not what Texans want or expect from their state’s chief lawyer. Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable. His actions are mean spirited, futile, a waste of taxpayer money and most importantly, wrong.

The intervention into a Mississippi case on HB 1523 – that Mississippi’s own attorney general chose not to appeal and that a judge ruled violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause against discrimination against LGBT citizens – is an appalling waste of taxpayer money and irresponsible effort from the attorney general to divert attention away from his own alleged criminal wrongdoing.

United States District Court Judge Carlton Reeves stopped Mississippi from enforcing the HB 1523 law shortly before it was to take effect on July 1, 2016, ruling that it was an improper intrusion on religious practice by placing the state’s “thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others.” The law also violated the Constitution’s equal-protection guarantee by authorizing “discrimination against lesbian, gay, transgender and unmarried persons,” Judge Reeves wrote.

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