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Texas GOP lawmakers threaten to cut funding to LGBT supportive schools

Monday, February 25, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — A pair of Republican Texas lawmakers have introduced two pieces of anti-gay legislation, one which would cut funding for schools and universities that have policies in place that support LGBT students, faculty, or staff, and another measure that would allow discrimination based on religious beliefs.

State Rep. Drew Springer filed House Bill 1568 last week, a measure that would reduce a school district’s healthcare funding by 7.5 percent if they offer domestic partner benefits to anyone other than an employee or a dependent of an employee.

Springer said his bill comes in response to the Pflugerville School District in suburban Austin, which began offering insurance benefits to same-sex couples in domestic partnerships.

Pflugerville Superintendent Charles Dupre said the decision to extend benefits to the partners of same-sex employees came out of discussions about workplace diversity.

“We can talk about being inclusive and talk about valuing people, but if you have people in your organization who feel like you have practices that are discriminatory, then why don’t you make some of these changes that will make me feel included?” Dupre said.

Pflugerville’s benefits took effect January 1.

“Our tax-dollars are for educating kids, not for enacting policies that attempt to get the state to recognize homosexual relationships,” Springer said in a press release. “To think Pflugerville has sued the state for more funding, while at the same time bankrolling a lifestyle most Texans do not agree with is quite disturbing to me.”

Chuck Smith, the Executive Director of Equality Texas told LGBTQ Nation on Monday that his group sees Springer’s bill as overreaching.

“He is not directly affected by this school district’s actions, Smith said. “Locally elected officials are in the best position to make local decisions about what benefits are needed to hire and retain the best educators. They don’t need big state government coming in and pulling the strings.”

The other anti-gay measure, House Bill 360, introduced by freshman GOP lawmaker Matt Krause — a lawyer who is affiliated with the anti-gay Liberty Counsel — would deny state funding to public and private colleges and universities that require student organizations “to allow any student enrolled at the institution to participate in the organization, regardless of the student’s beliefs or status, including race, gender, and sexual orientation.”

House Bill 360 states that colleges requiring a religious organization to accept any member regardless of “status or beliefs” violates the First Amendment, “including the rights of free exercise of religion and of freedom of association.”

Elliott Griffin, Krause’s chief of staff, told media outlets that the bill was undergoing revision to narrow its focus, but that the core of its intent would be unchanged.

A similar measure recently passed in the Virginia General Assembly.

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28 more reader comments:

  1. this is bs so what there saying is go to school but don’t be of the lgbt community but go to school

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:08pm
  2. ASS HOLES

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:08pm
  3. I thought Texas was leaving the USA?

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:09pm
  4. Oh, yeah. That’s exactly what Jesus would do… NOT!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:09pm
  5. But God Forbid they cut funding to their churches and they’ll act as if they’re being Suppressed or Discriminated against…

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:10pm
  6. So archaic. Where is the freedom for the schools?

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:11pm
  7. F them

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:13pm
  8. Texas legislature = INTOLERANT, BIGOTED, HOMOPHOBIC RIGHT-WING HATERS!!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:15pm
  9. That’s crap. So only heterosexual people deserve an education? It would be hard to fight for equal rights if we couldn’t read and write not to mention further bullying!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:15pm
  10. And there goes Texas……again!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:18pm
  11. They just haven’t learned….

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:18pm
  12. And we’re surprised by what now?

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:21pm
  13. I guess the most surprising thing about this is that some people are surprised.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:23pm
  14. Texas… only from the GOP

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:27pm
  15. Gilbert Lucero Stupid Texans, amirite?

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:51pm
  16. thats unconstitutional and bigotry and coveting. god hands

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:52pm
  17. leave it to bible belt to be 1st to have thier judgement to go against bible use of meaning for christ loves all.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:58pm
  18. Why then are we as the LGBT community forced to pay school taxes ?

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:06pm
  19. And for the people that likes this remember ye to shall be judged !

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:07pm
  20. Crazy bastards!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:15pm
  21. Omg. And to think……

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:33pm
  22. What? I thought Texans were smarter than that. Maybe it’s just the Texan lawmakers who are stupid.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:38pm
  23. How pathetic, try working to help children, instead of harming them

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:45pm
  24. I honestly think these people hear about LGBT teen suicides and scoff. How could any caring person hear about the sheer number of LGBT teen suicides and be for bills like this, all while claiming they love everyone?

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 7:06pm
  25. BOOOOOO, this is so gross :( from a Canadian living in Canada

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 7:50pm
  26. No big surprise from the “Religious” (bigoted) Republic of Texas. Would anyone expect anything less?

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 9:21pm
  27. TX is a very anti-many things state.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 9:51pm
  28. A DARK AGES STATE.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 9:00am