Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a directive Friday afternoon to all state agencies in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. The directive orders all state agency heads to respect and preserve the religious liberties and First Amendment rights of all Texans.
“Texans of all faiths must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious freedom is beyond the reach of government,” Governor Abbott wrote in the memorandum obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Renewing and reinforcing that promise is all the more important in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The government must never pressure a person to abandon or violate his or her sincerely held religious beliefs regarding a topic such as marriage. That sort of religious coercion will never be a ‘compelling governmental interest,’ and it will never be ‘the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.’”
“With these obligations in mind,” Abbott continued, “I expect all agencies under my direction to prioritize compliance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Article I of the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act. All state agency heads should ensure that no one acting on behalf of their agency takes any adverse action against any person, as defined in Chapter 311 of the Texas Government Code, on account of the person’s act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief. This order applies to any agency decision, including but not limited to granting or denying benefits, managing agency employees, entering or enforcing agency contracts, licensing and permitting decisions, or enforcing state laws and regulations.”
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.