The Texas Conservative Liberty Forum supports passage of Texas Senate Bill 17 and House Bill 5127 which prohibit institutions of higher learning from requiring or giving preferential treatment to individuals based on their willingness to make ideological affirmations or statements in a number of areas, including, but not limited to, issues of 'diversity,' 'equity', and 'inclusion.'
The bedrock of our Constitutional freedoms is the First Amendment. The state has no business in determining, let alone enforcing, what are the 'correct', or even just 'better' opinions in any areas subject to public discourse, and especially not in those of high public controversy.
The role of the state is to uphold and enforce the laws duly passed by the legislatures, and as upheld by the judiciary. The state may not use its powers of hiring, firing, or of conferring benefits, penalties, or access to government services or benefits, for the purpose coercing or pressuring citizens into activism, to adopt any particular ideology or philosophy, nor to even merely influence any citizens in what beliefs they privately hold or must publicly espouse. Such power is the purview of authoritarian and totalitarian forms of government. To allow state agencies such power clearly violates the rights promised in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and even for most benign purposes opens a dangerous path towards ideological tyranny.
Current law broadly prohibits unfair discrimination in a wide variety of areas and for many protected classes. New non-discrimination standards employed by the state should be debated openly, and passed by those electorally accountable to the public, and not by hidden figures no one knows, and for whom no one voted.
Remove/revise Section 51.603 (a) (1) (B) (iii) – views on, experience with, or past or
planned contributions to efforts involving diversity , equity, and inclusion, marginalized groups, antiracism, social justice, intersectionality, or related concepts
views on, experience with, or past or
planned contributions to any efforts involving matter of personal conscience, opinion, ideology, or advocacy not required or prohibited by law.
Remove/revise Section 51.9317
DIVERSITY , EQUITY, AND INCLUSION OFFICES AND EMPLOYEES PROHIBITED.:
OPINION OR POLICY ADVOCACY OFFICES AND EMPLOYEES PROHIBITED:
Same replacements for]:
51.9317 (a) (2)
Reason: The term of DEI may change, and may have different manifestations to the general public. The law should not target any specific ideology (may ironically constitute a violation of First Amendment by only targeting certain views). Law should outlaw the defined behavior.