Texas lawmakers are working overtime to enshrine LGBTQ+ discrimination into state law.
Last week, Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives were able to sink a bill that would’ve made it easier for individuals and businesses to discriminate against queer people under the guise of protecting freedom of religion. The bill became known as the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill after the city of San Antonio barred the fast food retailer from opening up a store at the local airport because of the business’ “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
Though the House killed the bill, the state Senate revived a companion version of the bill on Monday, The Dallas Morning News reports, forgoing standard practice to allow it to be heard in committee without public notice. Senate Bill 1978, also dubbed the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill, passed the committee and will now head to the full Senate on Tuesday.
"It's appalling to hold a ghost hearing and then take a snap vote that leaves virtually no chance for anyone to tell senators how such a sweeping discrimination bill would affect individuals and families across the state," Kathy Miller, president of Texas Freedom Network, said in a statement to The Dallas Morning News. "The lieutenant governor is so desperate to pass a bill that shields discrimination against LGBT Texans that he no longer even pretends to care what anybody else thinks about it. But ramming this bill through doesn't change the fact that the majority of Texans oppose laws that allow the use of religion to hurt people simply because of who they are or whom they love."