Leaders of civil-rights and liberal groups are warning Texas lawmakers not to damage the state’s economy and reputation by passing bills designed to undercut a possibly favorable ruling on same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer. As deadlines for passing bills begin to kick in this week, the Legislature’s two chambers could take floor action on Monday and Tuesday on as many as three bills on same-sex marriage.
Proponents say the measures are necessary to defend states’ rights and religious freedom against activist federal judges and gay rights zealots. Critics say the bills are blatant efforts to turn back the clock and deny equal treatment to people with a different sexual orientation or gender identity. “Texas is pioneering a legislative effort to subvert a potential Supreme Court ruling on marriage and lock in discrimination against gay and transgender people and their families,” Kathy Miller, president of the left-leaning Texas Freedom Network, told reporters in a conference call Monday morning. MORE