Texas governor to sign antigay bill at evangelical church school

BY Advocate.com Editors

June 04 2005 12:00 AM ET

Texas governor
Rick Perry plans to visit a Christian school on Sunday to
sign two pieces of legislation that have drawn strong
support from far-right religious organizations. One
piece of legislation restricts abortion, while the
other will put on the ballot a constitutional ban on
same-sex marriage. Supporters are praising the bill-signing event,
scheduled to take place at Calvary
Christian Academy in Fort Worth, as a major victory
for conservative Republicans, but critics say the ceremony
is inappropriate. "I think it's wrong," said Kathy
Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, which
describes itself as a mainstream voice to counter the
religious right. "As I recall, Jesus threw the money
changers out of the temple, and I wonder how long it will be
before people of faith get fed up with opportunistic
political campaigning in their houses of worship." The governor will not sign the bills from a
pulpit but in the school gym, said Perry spokesman
Robert Black. "It's interesting. No one seemed to
protest the governor signing a bill at a business or a
hospital," Black said. "It's not a political event.
It's a bill-signing." Perry will sign a bill that requires parental
consent for girls younger than 18 to undergo
abortions. He also will sign a resolution to amend the
state constitution to ban same-sex marriages. That signature
is mostly ceremonial since voters must approve it in
November before it becomes law. Perry, who signed a workers' compensation bill
at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth on
Wednesday, said the church school is the appropriate
venue for values-related issues. "The two issues talk
about values," he said. "A church is an appropriate place to
come together and celebrate a victory for the values
of the people of Texas." (AP)

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