Today is the 86th day of the 82nd regular session of the Texas legislature. The House reconvened at 10 am, the Senate at 11.
On Sunday I wrote that Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) voted against the budget amendment by Rep. Christian which requires state universities that have a "gender and sexuality center" to also have a "family and traditional values center." I spoke today with a staffer in Davis' office who informed me that Davis, in fact, voted for the amendment and that the uncertified results posted on the Legislature's website were incorrect. The staffer said she was unsure why Davis supported the amendment. I've e-mailed Rep. Davis asking if she feels, as Rep. Christian does, that family and traditional values centers are necessary to provide parity for the resources provided by sexuality and gender centers and how she anticipates universities will find funding for this new mandate created by the legislature. I eagerly await her response.
Four important bills were heard in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee yesterday: HB 1909, which addresses a loophole in the state's "indecency with a child" law that allows straight teenagers to make out with their boyfriends/girlfriends, but not queer ones; HB 2227, which adds "gender identity and expression" the the list of attributes bias against which permits the attachment of "hate crime" enhancements; and HB 604 and HB 2156 which remove Texas' unconstitutional law against "homosexual conduct." For a more detailed account of the hearing please read the article I wrote for the Dallas Voice.
As the session continues to escalate towards it's eventual conclusion the harried schedule is driving staffers and legislative gadflies to acts of abject silliness. In addition to LQ's 'Which member of the Texas House has the most awesome mustache' contest; this site, assigning doppelgangers to Texas legislators, is making the rounds.