Texas could introduce anti-gay marriage laws in 2019 if these lawmakers have their way

Republicans in Texas are plotting a fresh push to pass anti-LGBT laws in 2019.

Lawmakers from the state’s dominant Republican party have vowed to push ahead with legislation that would allow businesses to oppose gay marriage because of religious beliefs and force transgender people to use public bathrooms according to the gender on their birth certificate.

Speaking at a Texas Values forum on September 7, Rep. Matt Krause, the sponsor of a law giving religious business owners the right to discriminate against gay customers, said the prospect for such laws is good.

According to the Austin-American Statesman, Krause said that political changes in Texas and the US could lead to significant advancement in laws that would drastically affect LGBT+ people.

The impending retirement of moderate Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and a fresh wave of ultra-conservative Trump appointees to federal courts were cited as key factors for growing confidence that the laws could make it onto the books and survive legal challenges.

If President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed by the US Senate later this month, the fragile 5-4 pro-LGBT majority on the court would be destroyed—meaning the country’s highest court is significantly less likely to strike down discriminatory state laws as unconstitutional.

At the event, Krause said: “We should be able to get something signed, and because of the favourable climate in the judiciary, I think it will be upheld as well.”

Matt Krause

State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, who was behind a bill seeking to force transgender people to use the bathroom of their birth sex, was also optimistic.

Kolkhorst said: “The only way that you fail is to not try.”

Lois Kolkhorst

The Texas legislature only sits for a brief period once every two years. The last session in 2017 saw an attempt to implement an anti-transgender ‘bathroom bill’ thwarted by moderate Republican leaders.

Earlier this year, it emerged that gay Republicans were banned from the annual Texas GOP state convention.

The Texas GOP banned the Log Cabin Republicans group from having a stall at its 2018 state convention, marking the 20th successive year in which the Log Cabin Republicans have been refused permission to attend the convention.

The State Republican Executive Committee voted on April 7 to deny the group permission to attend, with a “clear majority” of lawmakers opting to reject the group’s presence after a two-hour debate.

Speakers cited religious objections to the group’s mission.

It was also claimed that their presence would run counter to the GOP state platform, which states that “homosexuality is a chosen behaviour that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God.”

No other group was denied a stall at the convention.