The absence of a homophobic budget amendment, movement on anti-bullying legislation and the most adorable committee hearing in recent memory marked this, the 17th week of the Texas Legislature’s 20-week regular session.
The infamous anti-gay amendment to the Texas budget — which would require universities to fund “family and traditional values centers” if they have LGBT resource centers — isn’t in the Senate version budget. While the state’s media focused on whether the Senate would actually vote on the budget, the Finance Committee seems to have quietly skipped over the provision, added by amendment in the House by Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center. Last week the American Independent reported that the Christian amendment would have little to no impact, but its absence from the Senate budget is cause for celebration for LGBT Texans.
Chuck Smith, deputy director of Equality Texas, greeted the news with cautious optimism, explaining that the budget is a massive document, 854 pages long, and although the “family and traditional values” language isn’t in Article III Sec. 56, the entire text would have to be carefully searched before the amendment’s absence was certain.
“If it really is out of there, then I’m pleased,” Smith said, “but I need to do research.”
The full text of the Senate budget can be found here.