A Texas state representative is refusing to meet with the constituents who will be the most impacted by legislation she has proposed.
State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) has proposed legislation that would allow businesses to refuse to serve customers on religious grounds. The first-year Republican lawmaker has also proposed legislation seeking to make the state’s ban on same-sex marriage immune from court rulings.
“Marriage is a Holy union of one man and one woman created and ordained by God. There is no other definition. As a Christian, I am guided by God’s Word,” she explained in a statement.
But White’s staff has said trying to discuss the issues with her “would be a waste of time.”
The Temple Daily Telegram reported last week that White’s staff had initially greeted Frank Carlson of Equality Texas, before turning him away upon learning who he represented.
Her staff told Carlson, who works on behalf of the largest LGBT rights organization in Texas, to “drop off your literature and leave.” White’s staff informed Carlson that the lawmaker “is against anything LGBT.”
“I conveyed that the representative has stances on some issues and that she isn’t likely to change her mind on them,” White’s chief of staff Hannah Bell told the Temple Daily Telegram. “We try to be a transparent office and I told them that they needed to meet with individuals that shared their viewpoint.”
Janet Adamski, a political science professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, noted that lawmakers are not required to meet with their constituents, but refusing to talk to a constituent because of their views runs contrary to the purpose of being of representative.
“When a person is governing they are governing for the entire community, not just those who voted for them,” Adamski told the Temple Daily Telegram.
White previously made national news by instructing her staff to make Muslims visiting her office declare their allegiance to the United States. “We will see how long they stay in my office,” White remarked on Facebook.