Target: Senator Donna Campbell of Texas
Goal: Don’t allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers
Texas State Senator Donna Campbell has introduced yet another measure that could make it legal for business owners and services to refuse to serve LGBT customers. The potential legislation cites ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’ as the main reason why Texas businesses could freely discriminate against LGBT patrons.
The new legislation, similar to one she introduced back in 2013, backed by an anti-gay group called Texas Values, is being described by critics as a callous license to discriminate. Numerous states, including Kansas, North Carolina, South Dakota, Arizona and Oregon, have also fought to put the religious rights of business owners over the civil rights of customers, and thankfully failed.
These laws have become increasingly popular following a string of stories about anti-LGBT business owners, nationwide, openly refusing service to LGBT clients in recent years. Many of the disputes to date involve bakeries and vendors refusing to contract for services at same-sex weddings, despite a state’s marriage equality stance or laws concerning domestic partnerships.
Further, Campbell’s sanction also promotes the potential for religious extremists, like the Westboro Baptist Church for example, to abuse the legislation and use it as an excuse to nourish their radical fundamental beliefs. The state’s already controversial religious freedom act is being exercised relentlessly, as countless LGBT Texans struggle to obtain goods and services amidst an intolerable and discriminatory social climate. With the advent of Senator’s Campbell’s newest legislation, this climate could become dire.
Sign the petition to urge Senator Donna Campbell to abolish this unfair and callous legislation immediately.
Dear Senator Donna Campbell,
It has recently been brought to my attention that you intend to introduce new legislation that will make it legal for Texas business owners to discriminate against would-be LGBT patrons. Not only do I find this potential law disheartening and prejudiced, but uncouth.
The right to religious freedom in this country does not, in any way, make it okay to place faith above civil rights. The state’s callous Religious Freedom Restoration Act, coupled with your new legislation, could have damning reverberations in the near future. And, frankly, I am shocked and utterly appalled that you think it’s okay for LGBT people to be refused the right to even purchase a baked good from a delicatessen.
I am deeply concerned about this legislation’s expansive language, as well as its ambiguous intentions, and I urge you to immediately terminate the progression of this ludicrous bill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Minnaert via Wikimedia Commons