Jun 12, 2015

Texas Pastors/Churches Protected From Forced Same Sex Marriages

Common Sense Commentary: If a thing speaks for itself, let it have the floor. RB

Gov. Greg Abbott Signed Pastor 
Protection Bill Into State Law
From  "Texas Values Action" June 11, 2015

Today, pastors from across the state watched Governor Greg Abbott sign the Pastor Protection Bill, SB 2065, into state law, a bill that received bipartisan support in the Texas House and Senate. SB 2065 protects Texas pastors, churches, and religious organizations from being forced to perform a marriage that violates their religious beliefs and from being forced to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if the action would cause the organization or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief.

Despite strong opposition from some Democrats and from LGBT advocacy groups throughout the legislative process, including the ACLU, Equality Texas, and Texas Freedom Network, the bill passed with overwhelming majorities in the Texas House and Senate without any of the amendments aimed at watering-down the bill. By passing with a vote of two-thirds in both chambers, the bill takes effect immediately.

Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values Action, made the following statement:

"Today we honor pastors and clergy who are guided by their sincerely held religious beliefs and assure them that Texas stands firm on religious freedom without government interference. The testimonies from pastors and religious leaders who sacrificed their time and effort to share their stories are powerful reminders that we must continue to defend our First Freedoms. We are especially grateful for Sen. Craig Estes and Rep. Scott Sanford for their diligence and hard work on this legislation, and the leadership of Gov. Abbott for his support and for signing this bill into law."

Pastors from all over the state, representing millions of Texans, attended multiple hearings throughout the session supporting the bill and helped lead in the effort to pass the bill. The leadership of Lt. Gov.  Dan Patrick, House Republican Caucus Chairman Tan Parker, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and the public support by Gov. Greg Abbott for SB 2065, were also key to the passage of this law. Numerous groups also contributed to the passing of SB 2065: Texas Values Action, Concerned Women for America, Texas Pastor Council, Texas Catholic Conference, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Southern Baptist of Texas Convention, Texas Eagle Forum, Liberty Institute, Conservative Republicans of Texas, Coalition of African American Pastors, Citizenlink (a Focus on the Family partner) and numerous churches. Read our full press release.

Texas Pastors/Churches Scriptural Stand ... Romans 1:18-32 and many other verses. RB

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