Houston Matters

Two bills in Austin may push the boundaries of religious freedom

One scheduled for a Texas House hearing today would require display of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms.


The Ten Commandments monument on the Texas Capitol grounds in Austin.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="https://embed.hpm.io/450597/450593" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

The Texas House is scheduled to hold a public hearing today on its companion bill to one the Senate passed two weeks ago (SB 1515) requiring all public school classrooms in the state to display the Ten Commandments.

The Senate also passed a bill authored by Galveston Republican Mayes Middleton (SB 1396) that would allow school boards to adopt a period of prayer or religious study for district schools. A companion bill has been referred to a state House committee, which has not yet taken any action.

Supporters of these bills tout them as major wins for religious freedom in Texas, and opponents call them an overreach that limit that freedom.

In the audio above, we explore the legal and political ramifications of these bills with Emily Berman, associate professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center, and Elizabeth Simas, associate professor of political science at UH.

Today in Houston Newsletter Signup
We're in the process of transitioning services for our Today in Houston newsletter. If you'd like to sign up now, fill out the form below and we will add you as soon as we finish the transition. **Please note** If you are already signed up for the newsletter, you do not need to sign up again. Your subscription will be migrated over.
Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

More Information