By Rev. Dave Welch, Texas Pastor Council
While SB 6, the Texas Privacy Act sponsored by Senator Lois Kohlkorst, heavily supported by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and passed by the state senate, has been the “banner” legislation for protecting the privacy and safety of women and children from biological males in their restrooms, etc., it has languished in the House under the thumb of Speaker Joe Straus.
We believe in large part due to the massive grassroots engagement through pastors, churches and allied groups, pressure on State Representatives have been increasingly insisting on a vote on a bill. This has caused HB 2899, filed early by Rep. Ron Simmons, to move and it has a hearing in House State Affairs Committee today! The key language in 2899 is:
Sec.A250.008.AACERTAIN REGULATION OF DISCRIMINATION
PROHIBITED. (a) Except in accordance with federal law as enacted
by Congress and interpreted in controlling federal case law and
state law as enacted by the legislature and interpreted in
controlling case law of this state, a political subdivision,
including a public school district, may not adopt or enforce an
order, ordinance, policy, or other measure to protect a class of
persons from discrimination to the extent that the order,
ordinance, policy, or other measure regulates access to
multiple-occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities. (emphasis added)
This bill would effectively halt the spread of the local “Non-Discrimination” or “Equal Rights” ordinances such as forced through in San Antonio and Dallas, defeated in Houston and pushed in Ft. Worth and Dripping Springs ISD’s. HB 2899 is not as detailed and lacks some specifics of SB 6, however it a very positive move forward in the House. I will be there to testify on behalf of our TXPC pastors and teams, so please continue praying, calling State Representatives and standing strong so we can get a good bill to the Governor’s desk.*
We continue to support SB 6 and are cautiously supportive also of HB 2899 (it is much improved!), as we continue to work to assure that if this is the bill that passes, it accomplishes the objective of halting the dangerous spread of the “Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity” ordinances forced on the people by radical LGBTQ activist groups working through weak city council and school board members.
Praise the Lord for His hand of blessing on all that has been done and thank each and every bold and courageous pastor and our flocks who have stepped up to stand in the gap! We will update you with the results of the committee hearing, any vote and what is coming next.
* – I will also be testifying in support of SB 892, a bill that increases protections of religious belief and practice for foster care families, a critical improvement to encourage many more families in our churches to step up and become foster, adoptive and/or emergency placement homes for one or more of the 35,000 children currently with the Department of Family Protective Services jurisdiction.