On behalf of churches across Texas representing every major ethnic identity and numerous denominations, we are very concerned about the public narrative concerning legislation such as SB 6 and HB 2899. This legislation would provide statewide uniformity regarding access to facilities where individuals may be in a state of undress or personal use such as restrooms, showers and locker rooms in public buildings. There are some essential principles that we believe must be considered in this discussion that are not being represented well in what is appearing in news articles and opinions, interest group talking points and comments even by some elected officials.
It has been stated by some that the Texas economy will suffer if our legislature, representing citizens not corporations, adopts a law such as SB 6 or HB 2899. That same nonsensical “threat” was used in Houston, e.g. that we would lose the 2017 Super Bowl, the 2016 NCAA Final Four, conventions, etc. None of these threats materialized of course, however there is an even more compelling issue that undergirds this debate.
The privacy, safety and freedom of women and children are not for sale at any price.
It is the first duty of civil government according to ancient law reflected in the flow of western civilization from the Magna Carta to the U.S. Constitution, to secure the person, property and liberty of all citizens under each jurisdiction. The unalienable rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness endowed us by our Creator are the foundation upon which a stable society and legitimate government rest. Aggression against these universal rights has been inflicted by local ordinances such as those passed in some schools and cities in Texas by creating vague, new and undefinable “characteristics” representing one-tenth of one percent of the population who suffer gender confusion that supersede the rights of the ninety-nine and nine-tenths percent. These ordinances reflect a massive expansion of punitive government power used to demonize and silence those who believe women, children and freedom should be protected.
Social, legal and political chaos ensue when a local ordinance creates special status for a fluid state of mind such as “gender identity” (which has now grown to thirty one categories in New York City) and attempts to legally place it equal to immutable characteristics such as race. This is compounded by different definitions, standards, penalties and enforcement from city to city, school to school. Imagine two hundred fifty four counties, over one thousand nine hundred incorporated cities and over one thousand Independent School Districts in Texas adopting different policy language, different enforcement mechanisms and different levels of punishment.
That ominous reality is inevitable under the current process and will, in fact, do measurable, significant harm to the social and economic condition of Texas. Passing a law like SB 6 or its equivalent such as HB 2899 to create uniform protections across the state is the reasonable and responsible course of action.
There has not yet been proven to be any legitimate need anywhere in any city in Texas to justify this massive expansion of local government through these ordinances. The criminalizing of God- fearing, hard-working, community-serving citizens, business owners and employees is unacceptable yet is a fact in each ordinance. The real crisis is the mounting number of incidents nationwide in which “open restrooms, showers and locker rooms”, are allowing sexual predators and voyeurs access to our women and children in their most vulnerable state.
We simply cannot nor will not allow this to occur on our watch.
It is a duty of the Texas legislature to protect all citizens equally. Women and children should not be subjected to a biological male, whether clothed or unclothed, entering their restroom, shower or locker room in the great state of Texas. Neither should our businesses and churches be threatened with criminal punishment for exercising their long held beliefs and standards of
This is fundamentally about whether Texas leaders will stand on the timeless principles that have set this state head and shoulders above most of the nation in both quality of life and the business climate. Those principles are grounded in a respect for traditional marriage and strong families, strong churches, strong communities, love of freedom and open arms to people of all creeds and colors; principles supported by limited government.
We will not yield or bow before the threats of economic extortion by Texas Association of Business, the NFL, the NBA, liberal Wall Street investors, or greedy and morally-bankrupt corporations who have all become puppets of the radical LGBTQIA Human Rights Campaign.
We therefore, representing churches who serve communities large and small, of every socio- economic status, support SB 6 and request a fair committee hearing process and timely floor vote in the House of Representatives for SB 6 or its equivalent such as HB 2899.
The undersigned Texas pastors