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Rep.Zwiener, Erin

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As Texas House Looks to Pass Discriminatory Bill, LGBTQ Caucus Fights Back  print page

by: Rep. Zwiener, Erin

Austin, TX — State Representative Erin Zwiener (Driftwood) today joined with fellow members of the Texas LGBTQ Caucus on the House floor to speak against a license-to-discriminate bill targeting the LGBTQ community. Senate Bill 1978 opens the door to LGBTQ Texans being denied everyday government services under the guise of religious liberty.

“This bill is designed to make the LGBTQ community feel less-than, to feel attacked by their government,” Rep. Zwiener said. “It is yet another attack on the LGBTQ community and puts Texas on the wrong side of history. I urge my fellow legislators as you vote on this bill today to think about who this bill may be hurting — friends, family, future family. Be brave. Choose the right side of history.”

Rep. Jessica González offered an amendment that would have explicitly extended employment protections to members of the LGBTQ community. The amendment failed 65-76 on a largely party-line vote.

“The supporters of this bill claim that they’re not pro-discrimination,” said Rep. Zwiener. “Well, they had the chance to protect LGBTQ people from employment discrimination, and the fact that members voted down that measure shows what this bill was always about.”

The other founding members of the LGBTQ caucus also spoke out against the bill, including Rep. Celia Israel, Rep. Jessica González, Rep. Julie Johnson, and Rep. Mary González. The LGBTQ Caucus led a successful push to tank the House version of the bill last week on a procedural maneuver. However, the Senate immediately revived the legislation, pushing it through their chamber without so much as a public committee hearing.

"I'm disappointed that leadership was so determined to get this bill on the floor," Rep. Zwiener said. "The point of order last week should have been the end of it. But despite this license-to-discriminate bill moving forward, I want the Texas LGBTQ community to know that the House LGBTQ caucus isn't going anywhere. We'll continue to fight for each and every Texan."

Contact: Graham Senor

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