Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Texas Nears Passage of Horrific Anti-LGBT Laws

With much of the world and certainly many Americans distracted by the continued media coverage of Russiagate  and now Der Trumpenführer's first foreign trip as the equivalent of a banana republic dictator, many have failed to keep an eye on the poisonous agenda of Christofascists and their Republican political whores in state legislatures. Emboldened by Trump's normalization of bigotry and steps to make LGBT Americans second or third class citizens again so that Christofascists can congratulate themselves on their false piety and godliness, the Texas legislature - among others - is pushing forward with extreme anti-LGBT laws that role back the rights of non-Christofascists and that allow outright discrimination based on claimed religious belief.  In the alternate universe of the Christofascists, their right to abuse others must trump - no pun intended - all laws and the rights of others.  A piece in HuffPost looks at the ugliness taking place in the Texas legislature and the evils that will be legalized if these bills pass into law.  Here are article excerpts:
As the Texas legislative session comes to its final days, far-right religious zealots are benefiting from a national media focused like a laser beam on the widening crisis surrounding the Trump presidency.
Anti-LGBTQ Republican legislators in Texas ― who have the full backing of GOP Governor Greg Abbott ― are also now using a stealth strategy, adding discriminatory amendments to must-pass legislation pertaining to agencies regulating nurses, lawyers, pharmacists and public schools rather than pushing broad-based “religious liberty” bills that garner a lot of attention.
The results of this under-the-radar approach, by the end of this session on May 29 (though there’s always the chance of an extension with a special session), may be laws which will allow medical professionals to deny care to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people and emergency contraception for rape survivors, while allowing pharmacists to deny birth control to women and hormone therapy to trans people. And there’s the very real possibility of a heinous transgender “bathroom” law pertaining to public schools, allowing discrimination against trans students. One sweeping bill that has received a fair amount of national media attention, HB 3859, would allow state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away applicants on religious grounds, denying parents who are LGBT, or even those who are Jewish, Muslim or atheist. Having passed the Texas House in early May, it passed the Senate Sunday night and the governor is expected to sign it. Similar bills have passed in other states, including in South Dakota this year. 
Getting less attention, however, are the insidious attempts to write discrimination into must-pass bills that have already been debated. An amendment added at the last minute to a nursing care bill, HB 2950, for example, would bar the Texas Board of Nursing from punishing discriminatory actions if they are committed in the service of a nurse’s “religious beliefs.” According to the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), a watchdog and activist group, a nurse could “cite his religious beliefs as a reason to refuse to care for a gay patient on the grounds that he believes homosexuality is a sin” or is against his faith. “A nurse who believes that men are the head of the household,” the group also notes, “could breach client confidentiality to disclose a woman’s medical condition to her husband against her wishes.”
Patrick forced an amendment restricting rest room access for trans students in public schools, adding it to SB 2078, a bill focused on emergency operations plans in schools. It passed and heads to the Senate for a vote. Patrick threatened to have the governor call a special session unless the amendment was added, causing the rest of the GOP, which dominates the legislature, to cave.
Under an amendment added to HB 2561, a pharmacy services regulatory bill, pharmacists could opt-out of the practices that are standard among pharmacists across the country, based on personal religious convictions.
And two bills that would regulate legal services, SB 302 and SB 303, now have amendments which allow for religious refusal by state-licensed attorneys. It’s not difficult to imagine the far-reaching implications of these amendments and bills for LGBTQ people and many others if they become law. Yet, with so little attention on them, especially outside of Texas, a lot can happen under the radar very quickly.

Read the entire piece.  What is happening represents the true face of Christians in America.  I hear ad nausea that there are "good Christians" but where are they?  Why do we never see or hear them loudly and publicly opposing such religious based evils on the scale that rivals that of their hate-filled co-coreligionists?    Remaining silent is not an option.  Silence equals complicity or worse. 

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