Religious freedom is not a license to discriminate

Religious freedom is one of our nation’s foundational principles. But it does not give government officials, private individuals or businesses a license to discriminate.

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This year, Texas lawmakers have filed at least 17 “religious refusal” bills that would permit discrimination against LGBT Texans in virtually every aspect of their lives. And the threat is not limited to the LGBT community.

Texas lawmakers are advocating an elaborate legislative strategy that authorizes religion as a legal justification for discrimination against LGBT Texans. These 17 “religious refusal” bills would allow government officials, private individuals and businesses to use personal religious beliefs to justify discrimination against LGBT people in virtually all aspects of their lives.

See below for a full list of “religious refusal” bills and the scope of their impact.

The proposed laws affect parenting and family life, access to educational and career opportunities, housing, health care and more. Many of the proposals single out certain religious beliefs – such as the belief that marriage is between a man and woman, or that sex should be confined to heterosexual marriage – for special legal protections not accorded to any other religious beliefs. Some are so broad that they also create conflicts with established civil rights protections, including those based on race, religion and gender.

The Bills

At least 17 bills have been filed this session that would allow individuals or businesses to use their religious beliefs to discriminate against LGBT Texans and attack reproductive rights.

Click on any of the categories below to see a list of bills and a description of their effects. Or download a pdf with the full list of religious refusal bills in Texas this session.