As the session winded down last week, an anti-gay amendment by Fort Worth’s Matt Krause was still pending in SB 215 but was ultimately killed.
The amendment, which was originally filed as HB 360, passed the House in mid-May and would have allowed student organization at state-funded colleges to discriminate for membership. But Equality Texas reports that the Senate refused to agree with the amendments and formed a conference committee over the weekend.
The amendment was later removed on Friday before the session ended Monday.
Overall, LGBT advocates have called this session a success with several anti-gay measure defeated and the advancement of a few pro-equality bills.
However, there’s still a special session, which has been limited to redistricting so far. Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith said it’s unlikely anti-LGBT measures would come up unless the special session is expanded to include education or other social issues.
“We’ll just have to wait and see if the call gets expanded beyond redistricting, and if it does, it could be problematic,” Smith said.
Read Equality Texas’ timeline of the Krause amendment below.
On May 15th, the Texas House passed an amendment by Rep. Matt Krause of Fort Worth that would prohibit state universities from requiring officially-recognized student organizations to abide by campus non-discrimination policies.
The official vote on the Krause amendment to SB 215 was close, with 78 voting in favor and 67 opposed. To see how your State Representative voted, please click here. If you don’t know who represents you, look them up here.
The Krause amendment was one of several amendments added by the House to Senate Bill 215. On May 20th, the Senate refused to concur with those House amendments and a conference committee was appointed.
Equality Texas was actively engaged throughout the conference committee process working to strip the Krause amendment from the bill’s final version.
On May 24th, the Conference Committee filed its report and removed the objectionable amendment that had been added by Rep. Krause. See page 69 of the Conference Committee Report.
On Saturday, May 25th, the Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report on a 31-0 vote, and on Sunday, May 26th, the House adopted the Conference Committee Report on a 135-5 vote.
Thanks to the members of the Conference Committee on SB215, especially House Chair Rafael Anchia of Dallas for their support of equality for all Texans.