Threats Over Religious Freedom Bill Puts State Senator Under DPS Watch
Donna Campbell filed a bill that would allow Texas business owners to operate within their own religious convictions. She and her office then received threats over the legislation. She opened up about the bill, the threats and reports that some groups will argue that the bill would allow businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community.
The bill causing so much controversy is one New Braunfels Republican State Senator, Donna Campbell, filed during the previous session. It allows business owners to operate within their own religious convictions and beliefs.
“The purpose of this bill is clear, it is to stop discrimination against Texans of faith,” said Campbell.
But Daniel Williams, with the LGBT rights group Equality Texas, said there were key components under Sen. Campbell’s bill, which could lead to its own form of discrimination.
“Under Sen. Campbell’s legislation, a waiter that doesn’t want to serve Muslims or doesn’t want to serve Catholics, or whatever the case may be, could deny service,” stated Williams.
Williams said the bill risked discrimination by businesses against same-sex couples, and would also void cities’ rights to pass ordinances requiring businesses to provide equal accommodations for LGBT individuals. Ever since the legislation was filed, the senator has received a number of threats to her senate office, as well as to the hospital where she works.
“There is a group that is extremely hostile, and I think it makes them look bad, it is pure hate speech. And they have crossed the line with the attacks, with the language, and I think they should be held accountable,” said Campbell.
The DPS is looking into the credibility, and possible criminal violation, associated with these threats. Williams said the threats against Sen. Campbell were completely unwarranted and hurt the LGBT community in Texas.