Right-wing Texas lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, have gathered in Austin this weekend for a conference hosted by the statewide anti-LGBTQ group Texas Values.
In addition to elected officials, speakers at the Texas Family, Faith and Freedom Forum include representatives from the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom, which are considered anti-LGBTQ hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Austin Statesman reports that lawmakers who spoke at the forum on Friday, Sept. 7 vowed to pass anti-LGBTQ bills in the 2019 legislative session, which begins in January. During the last session in 2017, they filed 33 anti-LGBTQ bills, but only one—a measure allowing taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples—was signed into law.
Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, an attorney who once worked for the Liberty Counsel, another hate group, pointed to the impending retirement of House Speaker Joe Straus, a moderate Republican who is credited with killing anti-LGBTQ legislation. Krause also noted that President Donald Trump has been stacking federal courts with anti-LGBTQ judges.
“We should be able to get something signed, and because of the favorable climate in the judiciary, I think it will be upheld as well,” Krause told attendees at the forum.
Senator Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, who authored an unsuccessful anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2017, indicated that the measure will be back in 2019. During a panel discussion called “Why are men in the women’s restrooms?” Kolkhorst referred to it as the “women’s rights issue of our time.”
Read the Stateman‘s full report here.