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Anti-LGBTQ Pastor Delivers Invocation Before Senate Debates “Bathroom Bill”

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By Cameron Wallace

On the same day the Texas Senate was set to consider Senate Bill 3, an anti-transgender bathroom bill, a rabidly anti-LGBTQ pastor was chosen to deliver the chamber’s invocation.

Rick Scarborough, who gave the opening prayer Monday morning, is the founder of the right-wing group Vision America. Vision America, based in East Texas, also happens to be leading Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s Operation One Million Voices, an effort to organize Texas pastors in support of anti-trans bathroom legislation.

Scarborough has a long history of anti-LGBTQ hate speech. He has said that AIDS is a judgment from God on the “homosexual disease,” and claimed he would set himself on fire if same-sex marriage became legal. So far, he has yet to do so.

On Friday, the Senate Committee on State Affairs voted 8-1 to advance SB 3 to the full Senate, which was expected to take it up as early as Monday afternoon. The committee OK’d the bill despite hearing from 738 witnesses opposed to it, and 59 only in favor of it. Assuming the full Senate passes SB 3, it will head to the House, where its fate is uncertain.

Equality Texas is organizing phone banks in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio aimed at defeating SB 3. Those interested in participating can sign up here.

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Cameron Wallace

Cameron Wallace is a Rice University student and an intern for OutSmart Magazine.

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