The controversial bill in Arizona that would allow businesses to refuse service based on religious reasons is getting a lot of attention this week. And some in Texas are asking if the issue could possibly come here in time for the 2015 legislative session.
Supporters of the proposal say it protects businesses. Opponents say it discriminates against the gay community. Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values told KTRH Texans are wondering if a similar law is needed here.
“People of religious faith are concerned because they are being threatened with lawsuits. Their businesses are being picketed like they were in San Antonio. They are under assault,” Saenz said.
Saenz says religious leaders are concerned about their rights just like the gay community is.
“We get calls from clergy across the state all the time. They are worried that the next thing that’s going to happen is that the homosexual advocates are going to force them to perform homosexual marriages in their churches. People supporting traditional marriage are under attack,” Saenz explained. “People are right to ask themselves if they have enough religious freedom in Texas.”
Because of that people on the opposite side of the issue like Maverick Welsh of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus says you can expect the battle here.
“I would not be surprised to see a bill similar to what’s been proposed in San Antonio. They are talking about religious freedom. In reality it’s discrimination,” Welsh said.
And if it does come to Texas, Welsh has a message for those that would support it.
“We have the money, energy and volunteers to elect people that support our issues. And if these guys want to target our community there is going to be a price to pay. It’s going to cost you at the polls. They need to understand that this community isn’t going to just lie down and take this discrimination,” Welsh explained.
The speculation in Arizona is that Governor Jan Brewer will veto the bill, but that is only speculation.