Texas House passes bill that uses religion as a weapon to harm LGBTQ families & Texas children

NEW YORK - Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, released the following statement after the Texas House of Representatives today passed House Bill 3859. HB 3859 would allow state-funded or private adoption agencies to cite religion as a reason for refusing adoption requests by LGBTQ couples, as well as Jewish, Muslim, single Americans, or interfaith couples, in the state of Texas. HB 3859 is one of many anti-LGBTQ bills this session that uses so-called religious exemptions as a “license to discriminate” against LGBTQ Texans.

“It’s horrific that the Texas House would allow state-funded or private adoption agencies to use religious exemptions as a weapon to ban qualified LGBTQ families from adopting a child. As a mother, it’s infuriating to see anti-LGBTQ politicians do literally anything, including harming a child’s future, to drive their discriminatory anti-LGBTQ political agendas forward.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Other Anti-LGBTQ License to Discriminate Bills in Texas

  • SB 522: Legally permits county clerks to openly discriminate against LGBTQ Texans when issuing marriage licenses.
  • SB 651: Allowing anyone who works in any of Texas’ more than 65 licensed occupations to refuse services of LGBTQ Texans.
  • SB 892: Permitting child welfare services providers the ability to deny services to LGBTQ Texans.
  • SB 893: Barring government agencies from taking adverse action towards businesses that discriminate against LGBTQ Texans.
  • SB 1536: Providing child welfare services the right to refuse services to LGBTQ clients.
  • HB 428: Granting exemption from nondiscrimination policies to religious student organizations on Texans colleges and universities, allowing them to exclude LGBTQ students.
  • HB 1805: Providing child welfare services providers the ability to deny services to LGBTQ Texans.
  • HB 1813: Permitting county clerks to openly discriminate against LGBTQ Texans when issuing marriage licenses.
  • HB 1923: Barring government agencies from taking adverse action towards businesses that discriminate against LGBTQ Texans.
  • HB 2779: A sweeping bill providing wide-ranging ability to decline services to LGBTQ Texans.
  • HB 2795: Providing county clerks the ability to decline to issue marriage licenses to LGBTQ Texans.
  • HB 2876: Granting anyone working in the wedding industry the legal protection to refuse services to LGBTQ clients.
  • HB 2878: Allowing healthcare professionals to refuse to treat LGBTQ patients.
  • HB 3571: Granting religious exemption from any civil action based on LGBTQ discrimination.  
  • HB 3856: Allowing mental health professionals to refuse services to LGBTQ clients.
  • HB 3895: Providing child welfare services providers, including adoption agencies the ability to deny services to LGBTQ Texans.

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