After Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas proposed an amendment to the U.S. House spending bill to defund drag shows and “Pride month” events at the Department of Defense, U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales was the only Texas Republican to join Democrats in killing it.

During a speech on the House floor, Roy pointed to an instance where the U.S. Marine Corps tweeted a “Pride Month” image with rainbow-tipped bullets on a marine helmet. In another example, the U.S. Air Force posted an image of a silhouette saluting in front of a rainbow flag. Roy criticized the posts, pointing to the American flag, saying, “That’s the flag! Right there. Red, White, and Blue.”

The amendment failed by a vote of 202-231. All 213 Democrats, as well as 18 Republicans, voted against it. Among the 18 Republicans was U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales.

Gonzales has been under scrutiny from the Republican Party of Texas since March, when the RPT officially censured him for several violations of Republican principles. The RPT specifically highlighted his decision to vote in favor of the “Respect for Marriage Act,” which called for repealing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. That act recognized marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.

“Tony claims to have been raised on traditional family-centered values, but he’s abandoned them in office,” RPT Chairman Matt Rinaldi told Texas Scorecard. “The Republican Party of Texas has formally censured him for repeatedly violating Republican principles, like he did on Rep. Roy’s amendment.”

Gonzales has also voiced strong opposition to Roy’s Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023. The legislation would have replaced the expired Title 42, a public health order issued by the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services in March 2020. The order allowed U.S. customs officials to send illegal border-crossers from “COVID-19 impacted” areas back across the border without processing them through the federal court system.

Furthermore, Gonzales was the sole Texas Republican member of the U.S. House to vote for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a Biden-backed measure meant to enact stricter background checks for gun purchases.

In August, “Second Amendment absolutist” Brandon Herrera announced he would challenge Gonzales for his congressional seat this coming election cycle. Former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Victor Avila and Medina County GOP Chairwoman Julie Clark have also announced that they are running for the 23rd Congressional District seat in South Texas.

Texas Scorecard reached out to Gonzales’ office but did not receive any comment before publication.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.