You know the old saying Everything is bigger in Texas right? Well that’s especially true when it comes to government oppression from the state legislature and Governor’s office. Sure, Texas TEA-CONs (TEApublican CONservatives) like Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick love nothing more than to scream and yell about how President Obama and Washington are violating their rights and liberties to govern their own state how they see fit. But the ugly truth?? In an ultimate show of hypocrisy, the TEA-CON leaders turn right back around and oppress the citizens of Texas and our municipalities with a much heavier hand than Washington could ever hope for.
So, as a way to finally expose this TEA-CON oppression, Texas Leftist is beginning a new blog series for the 2015 Texas Legislative Session.
B-I-G Government Texas.
Four Republican lawmakers from the Plano area plan to introduce legislation that would bar cities and counties from adopting ordinances prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people, the Observer has learned. The proposed legislation also threatens to nullify existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in cities that are home to roughly 7.5 million Texans—or more than one-quarter of the state’s population.
The bill comes in response to the Plano City Council’s passage last month of an equal rights ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.
“There is legislation that’s being worked on,” Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) told a group of pastors who gathered in mid-December at Plano’s Prestonwood Baptist Church in response to passage of the city’s equal rights ordinance, according to an audio recording obtained by the Observer.
“Jeff Leach, who’s also a state representative—he and I represent the majority of Plano—he’s actually leading an effort to nullify these types of ordinances statewide,” Shaheen said. “There’s actually four state representatives that represent Plano—all of us will be joint authors of that legislation—but Rep. Leach will lead that effort.”
Shaheen declined the Observer’s request for an interview about the legislation, which had not yet been filed as the session got under way Tuesday. Shaheen, Leach and the other two GOP Plano lawmakers—Reps. Pat Fallon and Jodie Laubenberg—wrote a letter to the Plano City Council opposing the equal rights [ordinance] prior to its passage. Calls to the offices of Fallon, Leach and Laubenberg went unreturned.
In one swoop, this bill would take away critical protections for Texans living in Texas’ largest cities like Dallas, Houston Austin and San Antonio, along with other smaller, brave municipalities. It is a bill based solely on discrimination and lies, most of which are against the LGBT community.
As if that wasn’t offensive enough, the greater hypocrisy here is that the state legislature, many of whom have made their careers preaching about “liberty” “freedom” and “self-governance” all day every day, are now seeking to squash the rights of Texas cities and counties to prevent and discourage the discrimination of their citizens! It’s the textbook definition of “Big Government”. Last time I checked, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was passed by that city’s governing body, the Houston City Council. They have every right to make decisions about the laws governing their municipality.
For a true Conservative or Libertarian, this bill slowly creeping into the Texas Legislature has got to be most troubling. How can one stand against government interference at the Federal level, but then condone an even more substantive intrusion from the state??
So the next time you hear that Texas TEA-CON lawmakers are trying to “limit government” or “ensure personal freedom”, you’ll know what they are really trying to do. If passed, this bill would put decades of hard-fought gains for Texas equality behind bars.
The Lone Star State cannot let that happen. If you or your loved ones live in Texas, now is the time to contact your state representatives and urge them not to support this bill. They need to know that YOUR rights and freedoms stand to be violated if this monstrosity is passed.