Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:
1. A bill that would require school districts in Texas to enact anti-bullying policies cleared the Texas Senate in a 30-1 vote on Tuesday. Unbelievably, school districts in Texas aren’t currently required to have anti-bullying policies. The bill by Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, contains no specific references to LGBT youth — who do they think is getting bullied? — but it is backed by Equality Texas and it does now proceed to the House.
2. Also this week, the Texas Senate is working on the budget bill, HB 1, which currently contains an amendment from Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, that would require colleges and universities with LGBT resource centers to spend an equal amount on centers for “traditional and family values.” According to The American Independent, the amendment would have little practical impact because LGBT resource centers are funded mostly with student activity fees, and not with state dollars. Even so, we’d certainly rather not see the amendment included in the Senate version of the budget. To contact your senator and urge them to strip the Christian amendment from the Senate budget, go here.
3. Fort Worth’s nondiscrimination ordinance, which has long included sexual orientation but was amended to include gender identity/expression in the wake of the Rainbow Lounge raid, has become an issue in city elections this year. At a forum on Tuesday night, District 7 council candidate Jack Ernest came out strongly against the LGBT protections in the ordinance, calling them “damnable” and “wrong.” Mayoral candidate Betsy Price also indicated that she is opposed to the ordinance, saying “I don’t like the idea that the city is in this business at all.” Listen to audio of the candidates’ remarks, via the Star-Telegram’s Bud Kennedy on Twitter, by going here and here. (Ernest is the third speaker in the first audio clip, and Price is the first speaker in the second one.)
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