Beau Miller, an openly gay attorney in Houston, has spoken out against his father State Representative Rick Miller’s move to introduce a bill which contains a provision nullifying city-level LGBT protections in Texas, the Texas Observer reported.
HB 1556, called the Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, would prohibit cities in the state from adopting or enforcing nondiscrimination ordinances protecting LGBT people.
A similar bill in Arkansas was passed last month.
The bill Texas would undo LGBT protections that have passed in numerous cities including Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and Plano. Altogether more than 7.5 million Texas are covered by such ordinances, according to the Observer.
The younger Miller, who is also an HIV and LGBT activist, was quoted as saying in the report, ‘If the bill progresses through the Legislature, I’m sure there will be a robust conversation about the impact not only on minority communities, such as the LGBT community, but also on local rule in Texas.’
In a Facebook post, he said he is ‘extremely disappointed’ by his father’s actions and is in ‘fairly intense talks with (his) dad and his office about this issue.’
He also appealed to LGBT people to write to his father about their or a friend’s experience with discrimination and how it felt.
His Facebook post in full:
As many of you know by now, my dad has authored and submitted a bill in the Texas House of Representatives that, if signed into law, would prevent municipalities in Texas from maintaining sexual orientation anti-discrimination laws. While I love my dad very much, I am extremely disappointed by his actions and will do everything I can to prevent that bill, or any such legislation, from becoming law.
I have been in fairly intense talks with my dad and his office about this issue. Although I am hopeful that I can persuade him to agree to not pursue this bill’s advancement, that outcome is far from certain. If anyone would like to help in this effort, I suggest writing to him about yours or a friend’s experience with discrimination and how it felt. To that end, and with full recognition of the deep emotions at play, please do not match hate with hate, or engage in name calling or insults. It does not help. Those type of communications tend to do more harm than good.
This is also a time to reflect on the fact that while marriage equality is in sight, the fight for justice and civil rights for all is far from over. It is at these times we should all remember Martin Niemöller’s poem: First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
On an even more personal note, I would like to thank my amazing partner and friends for your unconditional love and support. This would be so much tougher without you.
Rep. Miller can be contacted at [email protected]