Anyone else remember Romer v. Evans
, that little-known Supreme Court ruling in 1996 that struck down a Colorado amendment barring all local ordinances that protected gays from discrimination? Texas Republicans want to revisit that concept two decades after it was ruled unconstitutional. John Wright at the Texas Observer
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.
Homophobes are in a twit because the Plano, TX, city council passed LGBT protections last month, joining other cities like Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston (though Houston's protections have yet to take effect
). All that got Texas Pastor David Welch thinking.
“It’s just self-evident that they’re going to try to do it city by city. We’re dealing with a broad public policy that creates criminal punishments. That’s a pretty serious issue … based on a special agenda by a small, tiny fragment of the population …"
It's an abomination, isn't it? City by city, queers pushing their special agenda of wanting jobs and housing. The whole state is under siege, poor dears.
Texas isn't the first southern state to take this tact. Tennessee passed a similar law in 2011 and LGBT advocates are in the process of filing legal challenges based on the Romer decision from '96.
Authors of the Tennessee bill attempted to to get around Romer v. Evans by enacting a general prohibition on classes that aren’t covered under state law, rather than specifically targeting LGBT protections.
Yeah, that definitely makes it legal.
Don't worry, though, Texas lawmakers are also working on a "right to discriminate" bill (aka, Religious Freedom Restoration Act).
Good thing Texans don't have any other concerns so lawmakers can concentrate exclusively on the gay stuff.