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The 86th Texas Legislative Session got underway a few weeks ago, and liberals are already going on offense. Leftist legislators have formed Texas’ first “LGBTQ Caucus” while promising a “transformative” and “strategic” agenda. This includes a number of proposed “sexual orientation and gender identity” laws (SOGI) that would attack people of faith so aggressively, they can justifiably be described as #BanTheBible bills.

#BanTheBible doesn’t have to mean confiscating physical Bibles, LGBT advocates aren’t that obvious with their intentions (yet), but it does mean something even worse––stripping Texans’ of their right to practice biblical teachings in their day to day lives.

Hiding under the disguise of “sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) these bills would create new government power and protections which ban the free expression of Biblical beliefs, especially teaching on marriage and sexuality. Numerous bills seek to force people of faith to conform to the personal and political activities of others, while setting aside their own sincerely held religious beliefs. Those who do not comply will face fines, possible jail time, or other criminal charges.

This collection of bills try to fly under the radar as “anti-discrimination” bills, because who doesn’t want to stop bullying? But so-called “anti-discrimination” laws turn law-abiding Christians into criminals and Texans can’t stand by and watch it happen. HB 244 creates a $100 per day fine for any violation. HB 188 includes a Class A Misdemeanor, the same punishment for a DUI or domestic violence, which could lead to a year in jail if the “anti-discrimination” policy is not followed. These policies are similar to ones used against Christian cake baker Jack Philips in Colorado. Jack, of course, famously won at the U.S. Supreme Court, but that wasn’t enough to stop liberals from trying again.

Other bills would force religious homeless shelters, colleges, and universities to allow biological men to sleep next to women. This includes in shelters for abused women and small dormitories. Think that’s a little farfetched? It’s already happening in Alaska. As if that’s not bad enough, these same bills would be used to force private business owners to allow men into the most intimate spaces designed for women.  Places like showers and locker rooms at a gym, or any public bathroom. Again, if you think this is farfetched, it has already happened in Seattle and a Planet Fitness in Michigan revoked membership to a woman who merely complained there was a man in the women’s locker room.

But it doesn’t end there. A third bill, HB 517, would allow the government to punish counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists or any other mental health providers licensed by the State who help people from a Christian perspective.  If these providers in any way discourage homosexual behavior, or the desire for a “gender transition”- including at the request of the client- they would face disciplinary action by a regulatory committee. It’s truly shocking to see how far the left is willing to go on this issue. This bill frames the issues as “unprofessional conduct by mental health providers who attempt to change the sexual orientation of a child.” Talking to people about what the Bible says and their unwanted feelings now constitutes “unprofessional conduct.”

At this point you might be telling yourself, there’s no way Texans will let this pass. Unfortunately, I wish that optimism was true. During Texas’ last legislative session, a bill similar to one introduced this year was voted out of committee with Republican support. Austin is not immune to the swamp sickness. On top of this, Republicans just lost 12 seats in the Texas House in the last election. While Republicans still hold the majority, this session is different and Texans that care about their liberty can’t take anything for granted.

Just like at the Alamo, Texans must once again stand and fight for our freedoms. We must dare liberals to “Come and Take it!” while we stand firm. Please contact your State Representatives at www.nobibleban.com and encourage them to oppose these horrible bills which will #BanTheBible.

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to [email protected].

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