Texas lawmaker struck down a so-called “Save Chick-fil-A” bill, which aimed to to prevent U.S. cities and other governmental entities from taking "adverse actions" against businesses that publicly embrace religious convictions as a tool to target the LGBTQ community.
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"Hopefully this is the day discrimination against the LGBTQ community dies in Texas," State Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton said late Thursday about House Bill 3172.
The bill would have been a conduit for discrimination pertaining to any “grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, loan, scholarship, license, registration, accreditation, employment, or other similar status” on the basis of someone’s “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction, including beliefs or convictions regarding marriage.”
Johnson added: “Ding dong! The bill is dead. Which old bill? The wicked bill. Ding dong! The wicked bill is dead!”
Johnson, a member of the House LGBTQ Caucus, argued that the official analysis of the bill's implication was misleading, which Speaker Dennis Bonnen then ruled was a valid "point of order."
Christian-owned Chick-fil-A notably has a negative record on LGBT issues.
Similarly, the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill sought to uphold “religious beliefs and moral convictions, including beliefs and convictions regarding marriage.”
A faith-based lobby, Texas Values, then rallied members of the House to vote for the measure, which opposed same-sex marriage, but was unsuccessful.
“This commonsense religious freedom effort is far from over," Texas Values president Jonathan Saenz said and added that the group will continue to lobby. "We will not allow the clear will of the majority of Texans and a bipartisan majority of the Texas Legislature to be thwarted by a few."
Thursday was the deadline for preliminary passing of the House bill, ahead of the end of the 2019 legislative session on May 27.
“We worked so hard for the last two days to figure out a strategy how to overcome this bill,” Johnson explained in a video on Equality Texas. “LGBT+ discrimination is no longer the deal of the Texas House.”
The bill was put forward by Republican state Rep. Matt Krause and garnered the moniker after the famous food chain was denied space in a San Antonio airport.
“There was no discriminatory possibility with this bill. We worked very hard to make sure that was the case,” Krause insisted in defence of the rejected proposal.
The bill is one of several religious liberty bills proposed in Texas this year and could be amended and proposed again to the legislature.