Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement after the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee held a hearing Wednesday examining interim charges meant to affirm First Amendment religious liberty protections in Texas:

“Religious liberty is the First Freedom established in the Bill of Rights, and the moral bedrock upon which our nation has been built. I commend the Texas Senate, Chairwoman Joan Huffman, and Lt. Gov. Patrick for holding this hearing and keeping a light shined on this important issue, working to assert these inalienable rights and protect the people of Texas from punishment for simply expressing their sincerely-held religious beliefs.”

In October, Attorney General Paxton sent a letter to Lt. Gov. Patrick with recommendations to further protect religious liberties. View the letter

Attorney General Paxton has consistently defended religious liberties. On December 28, Attorney General Paxton joined an amicus brief urging the court to protect religious expression in the U.S. Military in United States v. Sterling.  Most recently, on January 11, Attorney General Paxton filed an amicus brief on behalf of 20 states with the U.S. Supreme Court in Zubik v. Burwell, supporting the religious nonprofit’s right to exercise sincerely-held religious beliefs.