Texas Senate Passes Harmful Bills That Would Gut LGBTQ-Inclusive Protections for Millions of Texans

SB 2485 and SB 2487 pass Senate; bills spun off from SB 15 continue to endanger critical local LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances

HRC reacted to the Texas Senate passing SB 2485 and SB 2487, bills created from the overarching, notorious bill SB 15. These bills -- just like SB 15 -- are dangerous and would likely be used to prevent Texas cities’ enforcement of non-discrimination ordinances, which protect at least 3.7 million Texans.

“These harmful bills would gut the enforcement of the only protections that many LGBTQ Texans have. SB 2485 and SB 2487 -- just like their parent bill, SB 15 -- would roll back the rights and protections for LGBTQ Texans in some of the state’s largest communities,” said Rebecca Marques, HRC Texas state director. “They’re bad bills on their face, and the refusal of the Senate to reinstate the provision protecting nondiscrimination ordinances shows that Dan Patrick’s anti-LGBTQ agenda is involved. If that’s not the case, that language should be added back immediately. The House should not allow this legislation to proceed.”

As introduced, SB 15 (the parent legislation to these spinoff bills) included language that would exempt NDOs. However, when it was brought up in the Senate State Affairs committee, that language was removed.

As written, these spin-off bills would be used to gut enforcement of non-discrimination ordinances that protect LGBTQ Texans. These cities’ ordinances protect LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and places of public accommodation. Texas does not have a state law protecting its residents from discrimination in these categories based on sexual orientation or gender identity. If these NDOs were unenforceable, it would leave LGBTQ Texans without meaningful municipal or state employment nondiscrimination protections, statewide. This legislation has similarities to North Carolina’s disastrous HB2, which included provisions that preempted the state’s non-discrimination ordinances.

HRC continues to work alongside Equality Texas, ACLU of Texas, Texas Freedom Network, the Transgender Education Network of Texas and others on the ground to battle against dangerous or harmful bills that attack the dignity of LGBTQ Texans. As a coalition, we will stand together; we will support and comfort one another; and we will continue to work together until we defeat every bill this session that discriminates against LGBTQ Texans.