Lawmakers should retreat from amending religious protections

Aside from the civil rights issues with the resolutions, there are functional problems with both of them. The state already has a Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was enacted in 1999 by a bipartisan majority in the Legislature and signed by then-Gov. George W. Bush. The act has been used with success in protecting the rights of religious groups of all faiths, while ensuring that certain laws apply to everyone equally and that the civil rights of all are protected.

The amendments reduce the state’s current protections of about 2,000 words to a tidy and vague 106 or 79 words, depending on which version you pick. The result eliminates many of the important protections included in the 1999 act and opens a black box of legal pandemonium on civil issues long settled by the state’s civil courts.

Read the full editorial from the Austin American-Statesman Editorial Board:

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