Monday, April 13, 2015

Texas legislator refuses to meet the gay constituent to discuss anti-gay bill

TX state rep. Molly White
One Texas state legislator seems to think that her "religious freedom" allows her to be rude to voters. Not only is she proposing anti-gay legislation, but she has also refused to meet with a gay constituent in order to discuss it.

According to Raw Story:

 State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) has proposed legislation that would allow businesses to refuse to serve customers on religious grounds. The first-year Republican lawmaker has also proposed legislation seeking to make the state’s ban on same-sex marriage immune from court rulings.

  . . .  But White’s staff has said trying to discuss the issues with her “would be a waste of time." The Temple Daily Telegram reported last week that White’s staff had initially greeted Frank Carlson of Equality Texas, before turning him away upon learning who he represented.

Her staff told Carlson, who works on behalf of the largest LGBT rights organization in Texas, to “drop off your literature and leave.” White’s staff informed Carlson that the lawmaker “is against anything LGBT.”

“I conveyed that the representative has stances on some issues and that she isn’t likely to change her mind on them,” White’s chief of staff Hannah Bell told the Temple Daily Telegram. “We try to be a transparent office and I told them that they needed to meet with individuals that shared their viewpoint.

Lawmakers are not required by law to meet with their constituents, but it is a courtesy which they should avail themselves of, even if the two parties have conflicting points of view. And those who would applaud White's stance should keep in mind that her actions have unintended consequences which could boomerang. After all, they would have no grounds for complaint if a legislator who doesn't share their point of view decides to not to meet with them.

A very small consolation is that White doesn't reserve her rude behavior solely for the lgbt community:

White previously made national news by instructing her staff to make Muslims visiting her office declare their allegiance to the United States. “We will see how long they stay in my office,” White remarked on Facebook.

Needless to say, White's flippant attitude has raised some eyebrow. According to The Temple Daily Telegram:

Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas, characterized White’s decision and her staff’s actions as “rude, insensitive and inappropriate.”

“Rep. White was elected to represent all of her constituents, even those whose views she doesn’t share,” Smith said. “It may not be her job to agree with all of her constituents, but it is her job to listen to them.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. You will probably censor what I really think.