Quantcast
Connect with us

As Texas considers Indiana-style religious freedom bill, businesses warn of Indiana-style backlash

Published

on

The Texas Association of Business and state Democrats stood side-by-side yesterday to declare that proposed amendments to the state’s constitution that resemble Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act would “devastate economic development” in the state, The Texas Tribune‘s Edgar Walters reported.

There are two proposed amendments, one in the state House and another in the Senate. Republican Representative Matt Krause’s House bill, HJR 125, would prohibit “the state…or any political subdivision of the state [from] burdening in any way a person’s free exercise of religion,” and places a similar prohibition on homeowners’ associations.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Senate bill sponsored by Donna Campbell (R), SJR 10, contains similar language, but goes one step further by defining “burden” as potentially being both direct and indirect, with the latter including “withholding benefits, assessing penalties, and denying access to facilities or programs.”

Krause said his House bill — which would require voter approval — is necessary because religious liberty is “the bedrock of what Texas, and even America, was founded on.”

“I’ve yet to talk to somebody who thinks the protection of religious liberty is a bad idea,” he added, telling KVUE that there has not been “one instance in the last 16 years where [the state’s current religious freedom law] hurt business.”

He did, however, acknowledge that his amendment “could” lead to discrimination, but insisted that it probably wouldn’t.

“The onus would be on the cake bakers to show how their sincerely-held religious belief has been burdened or substantially burdened, and then the government would have to show a compelling state interest of why they should have to do that,” he said. “A lot of people are saying this is a license to discriminate, people are just going to quit serving gay individuals or gay couples. I’m not aware of one business that says, ‘We don’t serve gay couples.'”

ADVERTISEMENT

Business leaders, however, do believe that de facto approval of discrimination by the state tells the rest of the country that “Texas is not a friendship state.” Passage of either amendment, Texas Association of Business’ chief executive Bill Hammond added, “would devastate economic development, tourism, and the convention business.”

“I think you’re seeing support in general evaporate based on the situation in Indiana. One has to look no further than Indiana to realize what a detriment this would be, and how hard it would be to sell Texas to the rest of the country. The Super Bowl, the Final Four, all those things would be at risk in Texas if this were to become part of our Constitution,” he continued.

The Association’s president, Chris Wallace, concurred, saying that “business owners are going to have to be enforcers of this legislation, and we certainly do not want to place any more burdens on business than there already are.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Wallace also noted that some of state’s largest employers, including American Airlines and Apple, have already made their vehement objections to such legislation known.

State Representative Rafael Anchia (D) explained that many of the Fortune 100 companies in his district already have LGBT protections in place, and would be opposed to the state issuing “a license to discriminate against the LGBT community.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mitt Romney whines he’s bored and doesn’t care about impeachment because ‘no one is watching’

Published

on

It's clear some U.S. Senators are continuing to breach the oath they took to be impartial and consider the impeachment professionally, according to CNN reporter Mike Warren.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who was once seen as an independent thinker, proved he's over it, when he lamented to other senators he wanted to go home because no one is paying any attention anyway.

Speaking to Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), who has already admitted that Trump is guilty but he doesn't care, Romney was overheard complaining during the last break.

“I think we’ve got another 6 hours," said Braun.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Internet mocks Trump for stealing Star Trek Starfleet logo for his Space Force

Published

on

President Donald Trump announced the logo for his new Space Force, and folks online indicated it looked surprisingly similar to the Star Trek logos for the command ships.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1220821545746141187

As a new show begins about the life of retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, Trekkies worldwide have connected to celebrate the on-going stories of the various command ships in the Starfleet.

Perhaps that is the reason folks took to the internet to mock the president for his team having no other creative ideas for their own logos.

However, as one former Air Force Lieutenant pointed out, the logo is similar to the one he wore back in 2005. He noted that it wasn't so much that Trump stole the logo, rather the Air Force stole it decades ago.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

In open letter to Brazilian authorities, 40+ rights groups condemn ‘attempt to intimidate and retaliate against’ Glenn Greenwald

Published

on

A coalition of more than 40 press freedom and human rights groups from across the globe sent a letter Friday to Brazilian authorities condemning cybercrime charges brought against American investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald earlier this week as a clear intimidation effort for his reporting on key members of President Jair Bolsonaro's government.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image