There are three important bills going before the Texas House of Representatives this ...
Today the Texas House of Representatives Committee on State Affairs will hear ...
Yesterday the House of Representatives passed their version of the Texas budget for the ...
Governor Greg Abbott had the -- I don’t want to call it respect, um -- well, one of his ...
Myth: Texas parents prefer abstinence-until-marriage sex education. While it might be ...
2015 marks 20 years since Texas has required an abstinence-until-marriage approach to sex ...
Texas Constitution, Article 1. Bill of Rights, Sec. 3 EQUAL RIGHTS “All free men, ...
The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Section 3 of our Texas ...
The Texas Legislature has required that all sex education in Texas teach abstinence as ...

ST Calls on Gov. Abbott and AG Ken Paxton to End War on Marriage

ST Calls on Gov. Abbott and AG Ken Paxton to End War on Marriage

at 9:06 am

After a Travis County Judge ruled the Texas Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the marriage of same sex couple's to marry, Gov. Greg Abbott and Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton both stepped in to continue Texas' war against the equal treatment of LGBTQ Texans under the law

Secular Texas has called on Gov. Abbott and Atty. Gen. Paxton to fulfill the promise of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and Section 3 of the Texas Bill of Rights, both of which guarantee equal treatment under the law of all citizens.

While Secular Texas is a strong supporter of the rights of individuals to freedom of conscience and freedom of worship, those freedoms do not extend to the point of infringing on the Constitutionally guaranteed equal treatment of others under the law. All Texans are free to hold their own personal view of what defines a marriage. However, if the Texas government is to involve itself in marriage, as a legal institution, it must do so within the confines that the United States Constitution and the Texas Bill of Rights allows, treating all Texans as equals and extending equal protections to all under the law.

Broadening the legal definition of marriage does nothing to infringe on the rights of Texans to worship or believe as they see fit, nor their right to define marriage according to their personal beliefs. Our shared state government is not a tool to be used, not even by a majority of Texans, to deny equal protections and equal treatment under the law to our fellow citizens.

You can read the full statement here.

Two Strong Sex Ed Bills & One Good Try

Two Strong Sex Ed Bills & One Good Try

at 4:20 pm

Three bills aimed at reforming the way sex education is taught in Texas schools have been filed so far this session. These bills will be featured and analyzed further at a later date, but quickly:

HB 78 is an encouraging bill that seeks to completely re-write the law that shapes sex education teaching, making changes such as requiring that it be taught, that is be age-appopriate, that information be medically accurate and that information on contraception and how it can be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STIs be taught.

SB 88 takes a red pen to the 1995 law governing the way sex education is currently taught in Texas, making many of the same changes as HB 78 without completely scraping the original wording. The bill largely seeks to move the law from an abstinence-until-marriage focus to an abstinence-plus focus, including providing information on the use of contraception and a very interesting change in wording from what used to imply that teen sex causes emotional trauma to state that contracting an STI can cause emotional trauma.

SB 297 makes just one change to current sex education law, requiring that educational material be evidence-based. 

Secular Texas 84th Legislature Bill Watch Underway

Secular Texas 84th Legislature Bill Watch Underway

at 9:57 pm

Secular Texas has begun Bill Watch for the 84th Legislative Session. The bills are only beginning to come in, but there are already some inspiring ones and some truly hateful ones.

Here is a small taste of bills that have been filed so far this session:

The Good

HB 78: A strong bill calling for evidence based sex education in public schools, based around personal decision making and communication, instead of the current fear and shame tactics being used.

HJR 34: Calling for an amendment to the Texas Constitution to remove the ban on same-sex marriage.

The Bad

SB 276: An incognito attempt to pass school vouchers, allowing state money to be funneled away from public schools, instead to private religious schools which are held to no academic standards.

SJR 10: Proposing an amendment to the Texas Constitution that would dismantle discrimination protections on the grounds of "religious freedom."

The Ugly

HB 623: A law that would make it illegal for state and local government employees to issue marriage licenses or perform ceremonies for same-sex couples when the Texas ban is overturned by federal courts. This law would punish any employees who dare violate the religious superstition of some by firing them and denying all pension benefits built up over years of service.

Keep up with the bills filed, research and analysis for each.

Senate Committee Memberships Appointed

Senate Committee Memberships Appointed

at 8:14 pm

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made the committee appointments for the Texas Senate, including the committee chairs for the now 14 Senate committees. For the ones of the most interest to the work of Secular Texas:

Criminal Justice, Chair Sen. John Whitmire

Education, Chair Sen. Larry Taylor

Health & Human Services, Chair Sen. Charles Schwertner

Higher Education, Chair Sen. Kel Seliger

Of the 14 committees, Republicans will chair 12 with Democrats chairing 2.

We are still awaiting the House Committee appointments.

See the entire Senate Committee appointees.

About TxTW

Texas Theocracy Watch is a service of Secular Texas.

With researchers and observers in Austin, Texas Theocracy Watch reports and comments on religion creeping into our state and local governments and the State Board of Education. It is our goal to keep the secular community up to date on news related to secular government in Texas and around the nation, as other states are often used as testing grounds for religious legislation. In addition, Texas Theocracy Watch attempts to bring context and a rational, sober analysis to the current events of Texas politics, as relate to our goals.

About Secular Texas

Secular Texas is an ad hoc group of citizens advocating for the concerns of the secular community of Texas. We seek a rational state government that enacts policy based on scientific realities. Secular Texas also addresses any attempt to use State or Local government resources or power to endorse religion, or provide privilege to religious institutions in Texas.

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