The Texas House Speaker who consistently stood in the way of efforts to protect the privacy and safety of women in restrooms, locker rooms and showers, now says he will not seek re-election.
Dubbed a “moderate Republican” by the news media, Joe Straus was out of step with the people of the reliably conservative state. As well as stopping the bathroom bill, he also put the brakes on a school-choice plan to help families provide their children a better education through a private or Christian school.
Jonathan Saenz, president of our ally Texas Values, said a key committee chairman, Byron Cook, also announced he was stepping down.
“After 50-plus county Republican parties have censored or issued statements criticizing Speaker Straus and Chairman Cook, it seemed only a matter of time before the mounting grassroots and electoral pressure was too great for them to continue in office,” Saenz said. “Straus and Cook were the main opponents who held back the priority bills of a majority of Republicans in the House, including the Texas Privacy Act.”
Texas Values is one of 40 state allies that Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside.
Legislation designed to allow faith-based foster homes and adoption agencies to keep operating according to their faith-based principles (HB 3859) was signed today by Gov. Greg Abbott.
The new law, called the Freedom to Serve Children Act, protects faith-based providers from being targets of discrimination or litigation if they do not refer girls for abortion or if they only place children in homes with a married mother and father.
One-fourth of all foster care agencies in Texas are faith-based, but there has been a trend nationally of religious placement organizations closing as the result of being forced to deny their beliefs. Because of the crisis in state-run foster care, faith-based providers have been asked to do more to help care for foster children. Many faith-based providers want to do so, but Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, said state law previously did not protect them from being targets of grant discrimination or litigation.
“The signing into law of the Freedom to Serve Children Act is a major victory for children and for religious liberty in Texas. Faith-based providers across Texas are now free to recruit foster families and place children with loving families,” he explained. “HB 3859 ensures that there’s a place at the table for everyone at a time when Texas children need everyone at the table.”
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Family Policy Alliance’s own Autumn Leva was featured on The Texas Values Report with Jonathan Saenz.
Autumn and Jonathan discussed what’s happening with gender-neutral policy in Texas and across the nation.
Five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas law today that required abortion sellers to meet the same level of medical safety standards as other similar surgical centers.
Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen Breyer described such basic requirements as an “undue burden.”
The three conservative justices stood against the decision. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “Our law is now so riddled with special exceptions for special rights that our decisions deliver neither predictability nor the promise of a judiciary bound by the rule of law.”
Family Policy Alliance filed a brief with the high court in support of the commonsense law. President Paul Weber said women deserve better than today’s ruling.
“All abortionists and abortion facilities should be held to the same basic standards of care we expect in other surgical centers in our country,” he explained. “Is this ruling really considering the best interests of women? Likely not.”
Jonathan Saenz, president of our ally Texas Values, said the five justices care more about profits for abortion clinics than safety for women.
“Our main concern is the protection of innocent life and Texas women,” he said. “We will continue to stand for women to keep them safe so they are not maimed or die in abortion clinics.”
Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance, said the Court is forcing states to accept “inferior care in order to make it easier for abortion sellers to stay in business.”
“Hillary Clinton is already celebrating it as a victory,” the attorney said. “If she is elected president, we can expect a liberal court for generations.”
“The Obama administration has demonstrated it cannot be trusted…”
Merrick Garland is President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia.
Pro-family groups want the Senate to wait until after the presidential election to take any action on a nominee.
“This changes nothing,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser with Susan B. Anthony List. “We do not know this nominee but we do know Barack Obama. Anyone he nominates will join the voting bloc on the Court that consistently upholds abortion on-demand.”
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“The Obama administration has demonstrated it cannot be trusted to respect the rule of law, the Constitution and the limits of its own authority,” said attorney Casey Mattox with Alliance Defending Freedom. “So it should be no surprise that the American people would be highly skeptical that any nominee this president puts forth would be acceptable.”
“President Obama has already appointed two judicial activists to the Court,” said Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values,” that have voted to redefine marriage and have opposed religious freedom and protecting life in the Hobby Lobby decision.”
Senate Republicans continue to say they will not hold hearings on any nominee. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor after the announcement.
“It is the president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court Justice and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on the president, and withhold its consent,” he said. “Our view is: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.”