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Relating to the protection of religious beliefs and moral convictions, including beliefs and convictions regarding marriage.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 1978 would prohibit a governmental entity from taking adverse action against any person "based wholly or partly on the person’s membership in, affiliation with, or contribution, donation, or other support provided to a religious organization." This bill would authorize a person to assert an actual or threatened violation of this bill's provisions as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding and obtain compensatory damages, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and any other appropriate relief, including reasonable attorney's fees.
It would also prohibit the bill's provisions from being construed to preempt a state or federal law that is equally or more protective of the free exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions, or to narrow the meaning or application of a state or federal law protecting the free exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions. It would explicitly prohibit the provisions from being construed to prevent a governmental entity from providing, either directly or through a person who is not seeking protection under these provisions, any benefit or service authorized under state or federal law.
Texas Action supports SB 1978 because it promotes limited government by prohibiting governmental entities from discriminating against people based on religious affiliation.