Open Letter to Speaker Straus from Rev. Dave Welch
“I’m very proud to support him and grateful for his excellent leadership in Austin!” Rep. Lance Gooden, 2017
In response to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s press conference today (see link below) declaring his commitment to fulfilling promises to the people even if a special session is required, House Speaker Joe Straus complained that, “Governor Patrick’s threat to force a special session unless he gets everything his way is regrettable, and I hope that he reconsiders.”
On behalf of the seven hundred and fifty pastors who signed our Open Letter to the Governor and Legislature, and the hundreds more pastors from across Texas who have expended an extraordinary amount of time, energy, resources, personal commitment and leadership of their congregations, our response to you, Mr. Speaker is this:
You singlehandedly decided at the beginning of the 2017 Texas Legislative Session that regardless of the clear and evident reality of the rising threat to the privacy and safety of women and children in Texas through the indefensible ordinances passing around the state that allow biological males into their private facilities, you were personally going to silence the voice of the people.
You decided that you were not a Speaker, but rather a monarch who has abused your position to intimidate and punish any State Representative who dared oppose you, particularly who dared declare that women and children were more important than corporate checkbooks.
You well knew that if SB 6 were put in committee, allowed a hearing and a vote, and sent to the floor of the House, it would pass with 95 Republicans, even if a few caved to LGBTQ bullying. You did all you could to make certain that neither the legislators nor the people had a chance to pass these protections.
Now that your leadership is crumbling around you because you have been exposed as an amoral bully who – in spite of your words to the contrary – has completely disregarded and disrespected your peers, who actually adhere to the Republican Party Platform. And today you dare to complain that Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is actually a principled leader of character, courage, and integrity because he won’t abdicate his promises and principles?
Speaker Straus, it is your poor leadership and dismal record that is regrettable and our call to you is to own up to your mistakes, let SB 6 through the House this week and do your part to avoid a special session, or the reality is very simple.
A special session is ALL about whether you continue to fail in your role or step up and be a Speaker, instead of a tyrant.
As for the pastors of churches from 50 to 50,000 we serve, we stand one hundred percent behind Gov. Patrick and Gov. Abbott’s call for either HB 2899 or SB 6 to pass, even if it takes all summer.
The women and children, as well as the blessing and posterity of Texas, deserve it.