Audrey Spanko joins groups in denouncing Bryan Hughes’ anti-LGBTQ record
This Pride month, Audrey Spanko debuts LGBTQ plan and commits to fighting for all East Texans in the Texas Senate
MINEOLA, TX — Audrey Spanko today joined the National Association of Social Workers Texas and Texas Stonewall Democrats in denouncing Senator Bryan Hughes’ anti-LGBTQ record in the Texas Legislature. Audrey Spanko also debuted her LGBTQ policy proposals on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision to ban businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ Americans.
“Bryan Hughes has one of the most anti-LGBTQ records of any elected official in Texas,” Audrey Spanko said. “Through veiled ‘religious liberty bills’ and by proudly defending gay conversion therapy on CNN, Bryan Hughes has shown he wants to go backward, not forward. I join others in condemning his dangerous record and commit to fighting for all East Texans in the Texas Senate.”
In 2014, Bryan Hughes appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN and stood by the Texas GOP’s decision to include gay conversion therapy in the party platform, saying the scientifically disproven counseling should be available to all Texans – despite it being debunked by every major medical organization.
“The dangers of ‘conversion therapy’ are mortally serious, and this discredited ‘treatment’ is potentially harmful to youth,” said Will Francis, executive director of the NASW – TX. “The National Association of Social Workers Texas reaffirms its stance against reparative therapy and other sexual orientation change efforts. We stand with Audrey Spanko and strongly condemn the use of so-called reparative therapies. We do not believe they have a place in our society, and all medical evidence points to the need to ensure no child is exposed to them.”
Bryan Hughes also authored Senate Bill 1978 in 2019, which Equality Texas characterized as “one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in either the House or Senate.” Luckily, equal rights organizations fought to amend the bill and stripped away its core discriminatory language — but it’s another sign Bryan Hughes continues to target and attack LGBTQ Texans.
“For too long, Bryan Hughes has not only ignored the LGBTQ community but actively discriminated against us,” said Jeff Strater, president-elect of Texas Stonewall Democrats. “Time and again, Bryan Hughes has shown he does not represent the people of Texas. It’s completely repugnant, and it’s time for a change in leadership in East Texas.”
In the Texas Senate, Audrey Spanko will:
- Work to support the passage of HB 517 or a similar bill, which would penalize mental health professionals for using conversion therapy on LGBTQ children.
- Support a planned bi-partisan bill next session that extends LGBTQ protections and bars discrimination in housing and public spaces.
- Vehemently oppose and tirelessly fight any legislation that purposefully or inadvertently discriminates against the LGBTQ community.