Got a little time to kill this morning? Good, because the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund has just issued its latest report on the religious right's influence on Texas government, God's Lawgivers? Carrying the Water for the Religious Right in Texas Government. Among those mentioned is Houston's Terri Leo, a member of the Texas State Board of Education and a former Dallas and Garland school teacher who thinks science is for Commie Jew gay-loving New York liberals -- well, she didn't say it, but I think she thinks it. (Actually, she did say part of it. But which part? Read the report.)
Leo's perhaps most famous for her attempt in November 2004 to insert into middle- and high-school health textbooks a sentence that read: "Opinions vary on why homosexuals, lesbians, and bisexuals as a group are more prone to self-destructive behaviors like depression, illegal drug use and suicide." The San Antonio Express-News reported in a front-page piece on November 6, 2004, that particular sentence was "among the dozens of changes she suggested" that were rejected by the board.
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Also in there is Dan Patrick, the freshman state senator from Houston and conservative-talk radio personality who last year bought KMGS-AM (1160) here. Patrick's the soft touch who said that should the Supreme Court ever overturn Roe v. Wade, he wants in place a "trigger law" that would immediately make abortion illegal in the state o' Texas, no matter what. I just think Dan Patrick got elected because people like him more than they do Keith Olbermann.
Then there's State Represenative Phil King of Weatherford, one of the key figures behind Texas' forward-thinking constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions and the bill requiring parents sign off on their kids' abortions. In 2007, the report insists, "further restrictions on reproductive rights and new efforts to ban embryonic stem cell research are likely to top the religious right's legislative agenda. As in 2005, state Rep. Phil King will again be a leader in pushing that agenda." Well, he is the King.
There are others with local ties in there, but I can't read the whole thing. Too depressing, by which I mean, of course, it's too inspiring. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to marry my boyfriend, have an abortion and harvest the fetus' still-living tissue so I can feel better about myself. --Robert Wilonsky