From Texas Values:
Tomorrow, Wed. April 22, the House State Affairs Committee will have a public hearing on our priority legislation, HB 3567, that protects Texas pastors, churches and religious organizations on the issue of marriage. We need a strong showing in support of religious freedom, especially from our pastors, at the hearing!Read the whole thing here.
We will be gathering tomorrow with Pastors and supporters of the bill at 1:00 PM on the North Steps of the Capitol to give updated information and then will move over to the Reagan Building before the hearing begins (the hearing will be in Room 140 of the John H. Reagan Building). You can also feel free to stop by our office at 900 Congress Ave, Suite 220 (2 blocks south of the Capitol) if you are in Austin earlier.
Please note that the hearing itself will begin AFTER the House session adjourns, which could be between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. You will need to plan on being there all day. It is a sacrifice and inconvenient – but if we aren’t willing to take a stand for our religious freedom, no one else will.
The Pastor Protection Bill, authored by State Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney and a pastor himself), makes it clear in state law that the First Amendment rights of clergy, pastors and churches in Texas apply to the issue of marriage. The bill ensures that the government may not force a pastor, a clergy member or church to perform a marriage or related ceremony that would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Pastors and churches should not have to live in fear that the government will force them to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs. With the Supreme Court set to take up marriage later this year, many faith leaders are now concerned about the threat of continuing government intrusion and infringement on these issues. HB 3567 makes it clear that Texas should remain a place where government respects the rights of pastors and churches to hold the Biblical view of marriage.
Chairman Byron Cook: (512) 463-0730