Two bills proposed in Texas Congress that could prevent discrimination against LGBT community
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 00:02
Two bills are being proposed in Texas Congress that proponents say will further civil rights and prevent discrimination against the LGBT community.
Sen. Rodney Ellis D-Houston introduced SB 73 in the Texas Senate in Nov. 2012. The law would prevent insurance companies from discriminating against members of the LGBT community on their insurance policies.
According to equalitytexas.org, “Currently, insurers cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, marital status, geographic location, disability or partial disability. This bill would expand the prohibition of discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.”
In a press release by Equality Texas, “Insurance companies make rate and coverage decisions all the time, but insurance decisions should be based upon facts, not bias and prejudice.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, LGBT individuals are denied health insurance coverage, claims related to gender transition, and other various problems specific to the LGBT group.
Opponents to anti-discrimination bills say that enforcing such laws on an insurance company defeats its purpose.
Fox News’ John Stossel said in an article published by reason.com, “Above all, discrimination is what makes insurance work. If the state forces insurance companies to stop discriminating, that kills the business model. No-discrimination insurance isn’t insurance. It’s welfare.”
In another battle for LGBT rights, Rep. Rafael Anchia D-Dallas introduced HB 201 in Nov. 2012 that would allow LGBT couples to adopt a child by changing the wording of Texas’ Health and Safety Code.
The current code says that in the event of a supplemental adoption, the parents must be one man and one woman.
“Every child deserves their own family, and every adopted child deserves to have their legal parentage reflected on their Supplemental Birth Certificate,” said Anchia. “Instead of protecting the rights of children, the current language of the Health and Safety Code leaves these children in legal limbo and inappropriately questions the legitimacy of their parentage.”
SB 73 and HB 201 are to be voted on in upcoming sessions of the state congress.