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Texas

A city council in Texas has voted to stop renting out space at the local library to public organizations, essentially canceling the town’s ability to have a “Drag Queen Story Time” for children, a move hailed by pro-family advocates. “These are people who are actually employed at adult nightclubs,” Mary Elizabeth Castle, a policy adviser for Texas Values, a nonprofit organization that promotes faith, family, and freedom, said of the drag queens.

The City Council of Leander, Texas, 22 miles northwest of Austin, voted 5-2 at its Aug. 15 meeting to stop renting out meeting rooms at the library to the public.

“We brought in $1,800 in rental fees and we spent $20,000 in security,” Leander Mayor Troy Hill said, apparently referring to the drag queen event. “That’s not good math to me" ...

The horrible massacre of 31 innocent people a few weeks ago in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, was staggering for Americans. Once again, we witnessed ghastly multiple murders. It is happening regularly, with no end in sight. Though it is heart-wrenching to recall, we must not forget the slaughter of 20 precious kindergartners and 6 adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or the killing of 12 teenagers and 1 faculty member at Columbine High School, just a few miles from our home in Colorado.

... It is impossible to overstate the anguish and grief suffered by hundreds of families and friends who have lost loved ones at the hands of wanton killers. And there are even more who are dealing with the trauma and pain of injury, both physical and emotional, stemming from these tragic events. Clearly, America is under siege, and the nation is rightly demanding answers ...

In a few weeks, Texas will relax its restrictions on multiple firearm laws, allowing Texans to have guns and ammunition in public areas. The new changes were passed in the most recent legislative session, which came more than a year after the Santa Fe High School shooting.

Texas has had multiple of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, including the University of Texas in Austin killing spree that introduced the nation to the concept of mass shootings, and the most recent massacre in El Paso that left 22 people dead and dozens injured.

Here are the gun laws going into effect on September 1 ...

27 dead, 20 wounded. An estimated 700 rounds unleashed by a gunman at the defenseless members of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

A year and a half later, state lawmakers lifted the prohibition on licensed concealed carry within Texas churches. With the law set to take effect this Sunday, Dave Welch, leader of the thousand member Texas Pastor Council, welcomed the right to fight fire with fire in defense of the vulnerable.

"There's a clear message to potential perpetrators that if churches across the board have people in the church that are carrying, that are licensed, that are trained and prepared, that it is less likely that someone will attempt to engage," said Welch ...

With lawmakers coming to Austin with a $10.5 billion surplus, Texas homeowners were excited about the prospect of substantial property tax relief. While they eventually received what might be considered a down payment on tax relief, they narrowly staved off efforts by Republicans to increase taxes.

At the beginning of the 86th Texas Legislature, the Capitol was abuzz with comity and cheeriness. With House Speaker Joe Straus out of the way, conservatives believed their reforms could have greater success, and with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick striking a gentler tone, establishment lawmakers were hopeful they’d be able to ...

As the debate over conditions at Border Patrol facilities and how best to address the crisis continues, Southern Baptist pastor Jack Graham and his Texas church are ministering to both migrants and patrol agents.

“Many churches are engaged in ministry at the border. We are grateful to be a part of the effort to express hope and healing,” Graham said in a tweet Tuesday, acknowledging a recent media report about his church’s efforts.

On Friday, in a mission Graham billed “Operation Border Blessing,” Prestonwood Baptist Church delivered supplies to support ...

Several weeks ago, I was invited by White House staff to visit our southern border at McAllen, Texas, where federal agents are struggling to deal with a massive influx of poor and destitute human beings. They come in never-ending waves. Please believe me when I tell you that the media and leftist politicians have not been truthful about what is going on there. It is a human tragedy.

I promised the exhausted U.S. Custom and Border Patrol agents that I would go home and tell as many people as possible what I had seen "up close and personal." Today, I am attempting to fulfill that commitment. Approximately 5,500 people show up every day in districts organized along our southern U.S. border. McAllen is the site of only one of them, but it is the busiest and most besieged. The "refugees" arrive ...

Less than 72 hours after Houston's annual public expression of "Pride," Harris County's leadership took action some consider historic - a non-discrimination policy specifically protecting lesbian-gay-bisexual, and transgender employees. "The message it sends out is that we may be deep in the heart of Dixie, we may be in the reddest of red states, but we are sensitive, we are inclusive, and we want people to be who they are," said Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Precinct 1.

Opponents of the measure sited both the absence of grievances from current LGBTQ employees and the county attorney's belief that existing anti-harassment rules offer adequate protection without opening up a fresh avenue for lawsuits ...

Williamson County officials answered an important question this week: Will the county publicly promote high-risk sexual behavior on government property?

Earlier this month, two recently elected justices of the peace, KT Musselman and Stacy Hackenberg, requested permission from Williamson County to fly the LGBT rainbow flag for the remainder of the month at their public court buildings—right alongside the U.S. and Texas flags. With the request, Hackenberg was fulfilling her campaign promise to be a “progressive voice for Williamson County courts.”

... Hackenberg and Musselman approached the Williamson County Commissioners Court Tuesday to get a final decision on the flag, and prior to the meeting, County Judge Bill Gravell posted a poll on Facebook to get public input on the idea ...

Texas and its local governments would no longer be able to partner with abortion providers or their affiliates — even for services like sexual health education and pregnancy prevention initiatives — under a bill the Texas House passed in a preliminary vote late Friday after hours of emotional debate.

Senate Bill 22, which critics call the biggest threat to Planned Parenthood this legislative session, would forbid a government entity from transferring money to an abortion provider, even for services not related to the procedure. It would also bar a transfer of ...