The advocacy group Equality Texas has put out its first legislative report card in several sessions, ranking Texas state legislators' records on working for LGBT rights.
The factors Equality Texas took into account include public votes, authorship (both pro- and anti-), resolutions and committee votes. They turned that into a point system and doled out letter grades accordingly.
State Representative Matt Krause, a Fort Worth Republican, topped the shit list. Every legislator on the "Worst 10" list got the academically implausible F-, but only Krause managed to get a raw score below zero, a -4.
"For someone supposedly elected to shrink taxes and the size of government, that doesn't seem to be what he focused on," says Chuck Smith, Executive Director of Equality Texas.
A+ legislators from the Dallas-Fort Worth area include Roberto Alonzo, Rafael Anchia, Lon Burnam and Eric Johnson, all Democrats. The highest-scoring Republican, Diane Patrick out of Arlington, scored a C.
Equality Texas' biggest beefs with Krause are his repeated attempts to give university student groups the right to refuse membership to other students, "regardless of the student's beliefs or status, including race, gender, and sexual orientation." After the first bill never made it out of the House Krause rewrote it as an amendment that would prevent a college or university from requiring student groups to accept as members anyone who "demonstrates opposition to the organization's stated beliefs and purposes."
The amendment made it out of the House but didn't survive the Senate. In the end only a single bill authored by Krause passed: one honoring his wife for support.
He also co-sponsored a bill that would affect funding for public schools that offered benefits to unmarried partners. That also never made it out of the House.
Krause wasn't the only representative targeting higher ed. Arlington Republican Bill Zedler, who ranked third on the Worst 10 list, tried to defund "Gender and Sexuality Centers and Related Student Centers," claiming they promoted the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Equality Texas' final word on Krause this session: The people of his district "would have been better represented by an empty chair. At least that would have been less embarrassing."
We've left a request for comment with Krause's office. We'll update when we hear back from him.
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