Texas tea party Sen. Bob Hall has filed new legislation that would prohibit cities across the state from installing discrimination protections for LGBT people.
Hall’s Senate Bill 92 is the first bill filed in advance of next year’s Texas Legislature, which convenes in January. It would block cities, counties and other political subdivisions from adopting “a local law that creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination on a basis not contained in the laws of this state.”
Since Texas state anti-discrimination law doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity, Hall’s bill would not-so-subtly make it impossible for cities to enforce protective LGBT-inclusive measures.
SB 92 echoes the same anti-LGBT sentiments of bills recently passed in Arkansas, Tennessee and, most famously, North Carolina. According to Equality Texas, the bill would affect over nine million Texans.
While LGBT advocacy groups will challenge the bill when it comes to the floor, SB 92 will also face opposition from the Texas Association of Business (TAB), which recently estimated that it would cost the state’s economy upwards of $8.5 billion and 185,000 jobs.
Hall, who unsuccessfully filed a similar bill two years ago, once told the Texas Observer that he thought the nation was “sliding into Gomorrah.”
He added: “If we do not change what we’re doing by changing the leaders when we go to the ballot box, our children and grandchildren may be having to change their leaders with the ammo box.”