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Statutory License to Discriminate Legislation

HB 2553 – White, Molly
HB 2553 creates a right of refusal for any business to violate local non-discrimination laws if the business owner believes that serving a customer whose marriage the business owner dislikes would violate that business owners religious beliefs. Goods that are made available to the public should be made available without discrimination based on race, religion, nation of origin, sex, ability, veteran status, sexual orientation, family status or gender identity or expression. Texans value the right of any person to work hard and strive for the American dream. Using religion as a weapon to excuse discrimination flies in the face of Texas values.

HB 3602 – Bell
HB 3602 creates a new class of law suits that may be brought against governments or employers that require work environments that do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. The bill allows an employee to sue their employer if they are disciplined for creating a hostile work environment or discriminating against LGBT customers, so long as the employee claims a religious basis for the discrimination. HB 3602 also allows lawsuits to be brought against governments for requiring equal access to services.

HB 3864 – Sanford
Many religious traditions call on their members to care for children in need. That faith-based calling has led to the creation of numerous faith-based child welfare organizations. Rather than create separate, overlapping government agencies, many municipalities and the state of Texas contract with these faith-based agencies to provide child welfare. With those tax-payer dollars comes the responsibility for these agencies to provide their services to all Texas’ children and families equally and without bias. HB 3864 would allow a faith-based agency, or an employee at an agency, to sue a governmental entity that requires that the tax-payer funding provided by the entity in relation to child welfare be distributed without bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.