Civil rights advocates, the LGBTQ community, and even clergy members are condemning a religious freedom bill passed by the Texas Senate that they believe opens the door to discrimination against the LGBTQ community
And local advocates are even more upset because the only democrat who voted for Senate bill 17 is state senator Eddie Lucio Jr. and community members went to Austin to let him know how they feel.
“He might have already passed it but he can hear our voice and know that he made the wrong decision and that we’re going to hold him accountable,” said Ofelia Alonso, Regional Field Coordinator for Texas Freedom Network.
Senate bill 17 in part, allows state-licensed workers such as doctors, lawyers and social workers to refuse to provide their services based on “a sincerely held religious beliefs” at a time when the author of the bill believes there is an attack on religious freedom.
The only exception is when medical services are necessary to “prevent death or imminent serious bodily injury.”
The bill has been referred to the House State Affairs Committee, with civil rights advocates hoping it dies there and never reaches the governor’s desk.
The bill will take effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all members in each house, if does not get those votes for immediate effect, it will take effect September 1st.