Texas is known for being a Conservative state, but recent moves against the LGBT community have seemed to defy Conservative principles, and look more like open discrimination. There may be a common connection for why GOP lawmakers are ramping up the hate rhetoric. Here’s the story from Lone Star Q…
Mere months before Jonathan Saenz became president of the anti-gay group Texas Values, his wife left him for another woman, according to Hays County district court records obtained by Lone Star Q.
The revelation could help explain Saenz’s seemingly abrupt transformation from socially conservative lobbyist to homophobic firebrand.
Saenz, a devout Catholic, has been a right-wing operative in Texas for many years — working on abortion and religious liberty cases as a staff attorney for the Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute as far back as 2005.
However, it wasn’t until recently that Saenz emerged as one of the state’s best-known — and most extreme — anti-LGBT voices.
Court records indicate that Saenz’s ex-wife […] is a member of the LGBT community who was dating another woman when she filed for divorce from Saenz in August 2011.
In early 2012, with their divorce still pending, Saenz would take the helm of Texas Values after the organization spun off from the Liberty Legal Institute, where he’d risen to chief lobbyist.
With Saenz as president, Texas Values has led the charge against not only same-sex marriage, but also passage of LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in San Antonio and Houston. In fighting the ordinances, Saenz has often repeated the debunked right-wing myth that sexual predators would use the laws to prey on women and children in bathrooms.
Saenz helped push an amendment to the 2014 Texas GOP platform endorsing the discredited practice of gay conversion therapy. In media interviews, Saenz has stated that same-sex marriagewill lead to polygamy and people marrying their stepchildren, and suggested that gay activists want to put Christians in concentration camps. Last week, Texas Values filed an amicus curiae brief calling on a federal appeals court to overturn a district judge’s decision striking down the state’s marriage bans.
The information obtained by Lone Star Q is public record, as any divorce decree would be. John Wright, the author of the article and editor of Lone Star Q, has received criticism for revealing such personal details about Saenz’s family, especially in regard to the naming of the activist’s wife, and the former couple’s children. Though I salute the work done by Wright on this story, I too believe that it is never acceptable to involve innocent family members in the matter, as they cannot and should not be held responsible for actions solely attributed to Mr. Saenz. Texas Leftist has chosen to redact names where appropriate.
But for the issue at hand, this research is proving an important piece to understand the possible motivations behind Saenz’s work, and the drastic turn he and his Texas Values organization have taken against Texans. If someone’s personal event causes such a behavioral shift that it leads them to persecute an entire community, that community then has the right to defend itself by exposing knowledge of said events. His personal vendetta, no matter how painful, cannot be used to harm people who have done nothing wrong.
And harm is what is being caused here. The very same untruths that Jonathan Saenz fights for are the ones used to justify discrimination, bullying, gay bashing, and a whole host of other atrocities. Texas is too great a state to continue to openly and proudly sanction these hate-filled beliefs. Hopefully this November, Texans will realize that they don’t have to listen to Jonathan Saenz, and instead choose to vote for politicians that stand on the side of equality.