Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia), the author of four anti-LGBT bills, the most of any legislator, directly target same-sex marriage, while the other would allow business owners to turn away customers on religious grounds. It’s one of several similar religious freedom proposals, including two constitutional amendments, that critics say would establish a “license to discriminate” against LGBT people.
Other bills would bar cities from enacting or enforcing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, and restrict access to restrooms and similar facilities for transgender people.
Article continues belowLGBT rights advocates say the onslaught of bill was widely expected as backlash over the rapid advancement of marriage equality.
Daniel Williams, legislative specialist for Equality Texas, calls it the worst session for LGBT rights since 2005 — when the state’s marriage amendment passed. He said his group is “well-positioned” to defeat every piece of anti-LGBT legislation.