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Senate Bill 1978, the so Called “Save Chick-fil-A” Bill, Authored by Senator Bryan Hughes (R – Mineola), Passes to Engrossment in the Texas Senate

May 15, 2019

Senate Bill 1978 Protects the Religious Liberty of Businesses and Individuals Against any Discrimination by a Government or Public Entity

 

AUSTIN– Senate Bill 1978 would prevent a government or public entity from penalizing businesses for exercising their religious beliefs. This bill is essential after Chick-fil-A was barred from opening a location at the San Antonio Airport. Senator Hughes opened the floor debate by stating that, “Chick-fil-A has been the target of attacks based on things that are untrue,” and later remarked how “Unfortunately, today, individuals and businesses have been discriminated against due to their religious beliefs.

Senate Bill 1978 was revived in the Texas Senate after being ruled out of order in the Texas House last week. Senate Bill 1978 is about protecting freedom of religion and freedom of worship. We must protect our First Amendment rights secured by God and the constitution. Chick-fil-A should not be punished for choosing to support certain religious organizations that align with their beliefs. Progressive liberals killed the Texas House companion bill, House Bill 3172, but Texas Senate Republicans will not allow the 86thLegislative Session to end without protecting the religious liberty of businesses and individuals.

Senator Hughes hammered home that, “The intent of the bill is to make sure that a government or public entity cannot discriminate against a business or individual based on religious beliefs. Chick-fil-A has gotten a lot of attention, but this bill is to protect all business and individuals’ religious liberty.”Furthermore, this bill protects the rights of all Texas citizens to choose which establishments they patronize and prevents government entities from imposing their religious views on others by denying those they disagree with the basic right to operate.

This Bill gives businesses the right to assert their religious beliefs as a defense without taking away the rights that already exist for other Texans.These individuals and businesses must still prove and show that they have been discriminated against based on their religious beliefs. Senate Bill 1978 also makes clear that this bill protects any and all religious beliefs. Senate Democrats apparently tried the same point of order that House Democrats had used to kill the bill in the House, but the Senate parliamentarian ruled against the point of order and the temporary presiding officer, Paul Bettencourt (R – Houston) respectfully declined the point of order.

Senator Hughes mentioned that Senate Bill 1978, “Will not cloak any organization from illegal activity or discrimination based on religious beliefs.”Senate Bill 1978’s overarching goal is to prevent government entities from taking adverse action against individuals or organizations based on their membership in, affiliation with, or contribution, donation, or other support provided to a religious organization. “Senator Hughes’ bill, SB 1978, will be an important statement for religious freedom when it passes out of the Senate tomorrow,” concluded Senator Paul Bettencourt, Texas Senate Republican Caucus Chair.

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