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Joe Straus
San Antonio, TX

Joe Straus, a Republican elected official from the San Antonio, Texas area, showed leadership for LGBTQ protections in his time as Speaker of the Texas House from 2009 until 2019. During multiple legislative sessions, he was successful in dissuading lawmakers in the Lone Star State from passing legislation that would have restricted freedom and liberty for LGBTQ Texans. One of the most high-profile fights was over a bill that sought to restrict restroom access for transgender people. Legislation like that was defeated multiple times during the 2017 legislation session.

“As a lifelong Republican, I believe all Americans should have the opportunity to work and the freedom to go about their daily lives without the fear of discrimination,” he wrote years later in an oped in Newsweek. “Some of the most prominent Republican-appointed federal judges in the country have already recognized that existing federal civil rights laws extend to gay and transgender Americans. The Supreme Court should likewise reaffirm these protections for our LGBTQ neighbors, who deserve the same opportunity as everyone else to be judged on their merits, and to work, earn a living and contribute to their communities.”

Straus’ support is in line with the majority of conservatives nationwide who support LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections. Straus, like so many other conservatives, knows that his values motivate his belief that every American should have the freedom to work hard, earn a decent living, and provide for their families.

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