The proliferation of local LGBTQ ordinances criminalizing Christian business owners for declining to provide services that violate their faith and conscience and allowing biological males into females’ restrooms, showers and locker rooms created the crisis that required legislative action in the form of SB 6 in the Senate, HB 2899 in the House. It’s critical that pastors and citizens stand firm on why this legislation is needed so we stay the course all the way to the finish line – likely now in a special session of the legislature.
SB 6, a comprehensive bill was filed on January 5, by Senator Lois Kohlkorst that gave express detail and direction in both public buildings in general and in public schools to assure that people use the private facilities of their birth sex. It passed the Senate on March 15 and was received by the House on March 16. It was never assigned to a committee by Speaker Joe Straus.
HB 2899 was filed by Rep. Ron Simmons on March 6, and later achieved 80 coauthors, and after substitute language was a more narrow version of SB 6, had a public hearing on April 19 but was never allowed to have a vote by Committee Chairman Byron Cook, again at “King Joe” Straus’s direction.
When it became evident that neither SB 6 nor HB 2899 were going to move, much discussion and effort shifted to finding as bill on which to amend/attach some of the language from SB 6 or HB 2899. Nothing happened and as the end of the session loomed closer we issued a call to action to ask Governor Abbott to call a special session if something wasn’t done.
Last Sunday night, out of the blue and with NO previous involvement in the language by Lt. Governor Patrick, Sen. Kohlkorst, Rep. Simmons or organizations like TXPC deeply vested in this issue, Rep. Chris Paddie (who did NOT sign on as coauthor of HB 2899) proposed an amendment to HB 2078 (school safety) that, as it turns out, was a complete hijacking of the issue by King Joe, his lead henchman Rep. Dennis Bonnen and Paddie. Again, other State Reps who wanted to make it better were told to stand down or it would be pulled, forcing a “take it or leave it” vote. That amendment passed, however the immediate assessment even before passage by TXPC, Texas Values and next morning, Lt. Governor Patrick, was that is far to vague and totally unacceptable.
That leads us to “What next?” On Tuesday night, Senator Kohlkorst was successful in amending much of SB 6 language to HB 4180, sponsored by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) who quickly announced that he would kill the whole bill before accepting the amendment.
Lt. Governor Patrick is standing strong, is not going accept fake language and the message has been sent very clearly to Governor Greg Abbott that the decent citizens of Texas who are committed to standing with our God for His design of male, female, marriage, family and moral law will stand with him to call a special session or add this issue to the call for a special session called for another issue.
PASTORS KEY POINTS:
- Enlist five pastors in Texas you know who have not yet been involved, bring them up to speed and get them engaged with you.
- Please share as much of this overview as you think appropriate to keep your congregation informed.
- Please let your congregation know that there is MUCH reason to hope for a victory because the prayers and work of His people have set the stage for His mighty hand to intervene. Keep praying for Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick and all legislators to either stand firm (those standing for what is right) or turn and repent to do the right thing (those catering to the LGBTQ agenda) and vote YES when an effective bill is before them.
- Be prepared for activating the voters and you personally coming to Austin this summer when a special session is called and this issue is being heard.
- We only lose when we quit – so STAND together, SPEAK the truth with boldness, and STAY together as pastor teams in each city in the coming months and years!