Emails (excerpted), responses to PolitiFact Texas, Jonathan Saenz, president, Texas Values, Nov. 26 through Nov. 28, 2012
Nov. 26, 2012
HB 201 very clearly strips the references to a mother and father from supplementary birth certificates. HB 201 makes it clear that this applies to all supplementary birth certificates, not just supplemental birth certificates sought by persons that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual or cisgender. Stripping “mother” and “father” from supplementary birth certificates creates a conflict in the law and will allow the homosexual lobby to later sue and make so-called “equality” arguments to demand that all birth certificates should be stripped of mother and father references. In fact, during the 2011 Texas Legislative session, Rep. Rafael Anchia testified on this same bill and said “I believe tangentially the state is at risk of lawsuits if it does not address this issue.” Because of the objectives of homosexual lobby groups like Equality Texas, we have to make the public aware of not only what the bill language says but how we believe it will be used. Mother and father references in Texas law is the current standard for birth certificates. If this standard is changed for one birth certificate form, it puts this “mother and father” standard in jeopardy for all birth certificates.
Jonathan M. Saenz, Esq.
On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 4:42 PM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) <email@example.com> wrote:
You told KTBC-TV that the adoption-related legislation supported by gay rights activists would strip “mother” and “father” from all Texas birth certificates. There is no indication in the report that I can see that you were speculating about prospective (future) fall-out.
Your email below speaks most closely to your interview claim in this portion: Mother and father references in Texas law is the current standard for birth certificates. If this standard is changed for one birth certificate form, it puts this “mother and father” standard in jeopardy for all birth certificates.
Nov. 26, 2012
Gardner, we don't feel like our analysis of this bill or overall issue is speculative. We feel very certain that the homosexual lobby would like to use this legislation to strip mother and father references from all birth certificates. Iowa has had a court case on this, where LGBT persons are requesting a change to birth certificates other than in the adoption context. I believe New York state has implemented a policy of having two same sex persons listed on a birth certificates for "equal treatment." I'm sure with a quick search you'll see all the activity around the country on this issue with LGBT persons wanting changes to birth certificate forms other than just in the adoption context. Chuck at Equality Texas should be able to tell you what is happening on this at a state by state level.
On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Do you agree the legislation applies to supplemental birth certificates issued for adoptions only? If so, I understand too that you are saying there is the prospect of this change later leading to similar changes to applications for traditional birth certificates, though I don’t see certainty to this happening, yet. The wider change is not in the proposal.
Nov. 27, 2012
Because of the objectives of homosexual lobby groups like Equality Texas, we have to make the public aware of not only what the bill language says but how will believe it will be used.
Also, HB 201 changes birth certificate forms and prevents the specific naming of a mother and/or father for everyone seeking a birth certificate under this section; heterosexual persons and persons who consider themselves homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gay, cisgender, and pansexual. HB 201 also results in a wider change to the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 192 where currently the standard for all birth certificates is to have a place to name a mother and father.
On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:02 PM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)
I don’t see it in the legislation, which says the certificate must list both parents, if there are two. To this moment, I’ve seen no evidence to support your claim the legislation would affect all birth certificates. If you have anything else you’d like us to consider, let me know?
Nov. 27, 2012
...The legislation clearly removes the current requirement to identify "parents" in this code section as "mother" and/or "father" on the form, for everyone that applies for this birth certificate form. There is nothing in HB 201 that says any new forms that are created with HB 201 will include specifically naming a parent as a "mother" and/or "father." HB 201 strikes a line through the current requirement that there is a female "named as the mother" on the form, and a male "named as the father" on the form.
Nov. 28, 2012
...the entire email you sent me from the agency, leaps out to me and clearly backs up my comments on this legislation that you asked me about. However, I have pulled out a few particular statements by the agency that leave no doubt that my analysis on HB 201 as filed, was 100% accurate.
"Based on the plain language of the filed bill, it may not appear to affect all birth certificates to be issued...As a result, we would have to have a consistent reference on all birth certificates going forward so as to not bring attention to those which are for adopted persons...These changes would affect all birth certificates yet to be issued." (Even the agency admits, HB 201 actually would affect all birth certificates, clearly backing up our main point in my interview).
"DSHS would need to modify more than 20 forms which currently reflect the names of the mother and father to show parent and co-parent to comply with this bill." (This clearly makes our point that HB 201 would change the law so that having a woman named specifically as the "mother" and a man named specifically as the "father" on the birth certficate form will not be an option for anyone seeking a birth certificate, and also backs up our point of how this bill creates a conflict in the law and would result in a wider change).