AUSTIN – The Texas House of Representatives today approved passage of Senate Bill 1978, which would allow individuals to discriminate against others in the name of religion without government interference. The bill was amended in the House and differed from the version originally passed in the Senate. It will now return to the Senate for a final vote.
“Our state leaders should be protecting the rights of all Texans, not working to take them away,” said Adriana Piñon, policy counsel for the ACLU of Texas. “Senate Bill 1978 opens the door to discrimination and limits the consequences for doing so. The First Amendment already provides protections for religious freedom without the harms that this bill would allow. This bill will not only harm marginalized groups like our state’s LGBTQ community and people of minority faiths but also harm the reputation of Texas as a welcoming state. We are grateful to the members of the Texas LGBTQ Caucus and other legislators who fought to stop this dangerous bill from passing.”