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Religious Liberty Priorities

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Rep. Matt Krause, along with other representatives, senators, and activists held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss religious liberty priorities in the Texas House and Senate. The event highlighted several bills that have been filed in both the House and Senate with a main focus of protecting the religious liberty of citizens, business owners and churches.

In order to show that religious liberty is being threatened in Texas, personal testimony was given at the press conference. Representative Matt Schaefer read a statement from bakery bakery owners in East Texas who were threatened for refusing to bake a cake for a homosexual couple. Angela Smith, owner of a popular bed and breakfast, explained that she was making less money than she could because she would be at risk if she advertised wedding facilities but refused to host homosexual couples. Justice of the Peace Bill Metzger, from Collin County discussed the battle he fights in order to act in accordance with his conscience and not perform marriages for homosexual couples.

President of Texas Values, Jonathan Saenz, stated in a press release about the event, “Everyone should be free to peacefully live and work according to their convictions without fear of being punished by the government. These bills reinforce what Texas has stood for since we were founded.” The bills presented at the press conference are as follows:

SB 522/HB 1813 Birdwell/Flynn – Ensuring religious freedom for county clerks and justices of the peace. The Senate version has been referred to the Senate committee on State Affairs. The House version has not been referred to committee.

SB 893/HB 1923 Hughes /Krause – Protecting the First Amendment rights of individuals and groups and providing for legal remedies. Neither bill has been referred to committee.

SB 892/HB 1805 Hughes/Sanford – Protecting the rights of conscience for child welfare service providers. Neither bill has been referred to to committee.

HB 421 Rinaldi – Exempting members of a church from the Private Security Act; Allowing members to provide certain security services for the church of which they are a member. The bill was referred to the House committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety.

HB 522 Schofield – Prohibits a property owner’s association from preventing homeowners from putting up religious displays. The bill was referred to the House committee on Business & Industry.

SB 24 Huffman – Protects pastors’ sermons from being subpoenaed by the government. The bill was passed out the Senate committee on State Affairs.

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