Governor Abbott Issues Memo Directing State Agencies To Protect Religious Liberty

June 26, 2015 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, Governor Greg Abbott today issued a memo to all state agency heads directing them to respect and preserve Texans religious liberties and First Amendment rights.

“Texans of all faiths must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious freedom is beyond the reach of government.  Renewing and reinforcing that promise is all the more important in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges,” Governor Abbott wrote in the memo. “The government must never pressure a person to abandon or violate his or her sincerely held religious beliefs regarding a topic such as marriage.  That sort of religious coercion will never be a ‘compelling governmental interest,’ and it will never be ‘the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.’”

Governor Abbott went on to say that, “as government officials, we have a constitutional duty to preserve, protect, and defend the religious liberty of every Texan.”

The Governor concluded by writing that this order “applies to any agency decision, including but not limited to granting or denying benefits, managing agency employees, entering or enforcing agency contracts, licensing and permitting decisions, or enforcing state laws and regulations.”