Big Business in Texas Targets Religious Freedom Bills

By Rachel Alexander Published on April 20, 2015

The Texas Association of Business has joined with the ACLU, Equality Texas, the left-leaning Texas Freedom Network and the LGBT organization Texas Competes to oppose religious freedom bills in the Texas legislature. TAB became a member of  Texas Competes, which includes large companies like T-Mobile, Hilton, Marriott, American Airlines, Southwest, United, Whole Foods, Dell, Intel, Samsung, GameStop and iHeartMedia — over 100 companies total. The businesses assert they are afraid of boycotts if the legislation is passed.

The “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” would broaden Texas’s original 1999 religious freedom statute and amend it into the state constitution. It would give businesses like bakeries the chance to refuse service if it would substantially burden deeply held religious beliefs. Texas government would be required to have a “compelling governmental interest” before it can “burden in any way” a person’s free exercise of religion. However, the law would not provide a carte blanche license to discriminate. State Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), who is sponsoring the bill, said, “If you put a sign on your door that says, ‘We won’t serve gay people,’ I don’t see how that stands up in court.”

Another bill would prohibit pastors from being forced to perform weddings that violate their religious beliefs. The recently passed religious freedom law in Indiana has galvanized the opposition, Rep. Krause said, but he noted that it also has galvanized supporters. Both bills are headed for hearings in the legislature and are expected to capture national media attention.

Some conservatives are not happy with TAB opposing the religious freedom legislation. Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values says that TAB “has now aligned itself with hard left anti-freedom organizations, like the ACLU, that not only want to redefine marriage but also want to redefine how Texans do business.”

Read the article at Christian Today


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