Gov. Rick Perry plans to visit a Christian school on Sunday to sign legislation that drew strong support from religious organizations.
The bill he plans to sign restricts abortion late in a pregnancy and requires minor girls to get parental consent for an abortion. Perry also plans to talk about a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages, which goes before Texas voters in November.
Supporters praise the event at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Worth as a major victory for conservative Republicans, but critics say the ceremony is inappropriate.
"I think it's wrong," said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, which describes itself as a mainstream voice to counter the religious right.
"As I recall, Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, and I wonder how long it will be before people of faith get fed up with opportunistic political campaigning in their houses of worship," she said.
The governor will not sign the bill from a pulpit, but in the school gym, said Perry spokesman Robert Black.
"It's interesting. No one seemed to protest the governor signing a bill at a business or a hospital," Black said. "It's not a political event. It's a bill-signing."
Perry will sign a bill that requires parental consent for girls younger than 18 to undergo abortions. He also will sign a resolution to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriages. That signature is only ceremonial since voters must approve it in November before it can become law.
Perry, who signed a workers compensation bill at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth on Wednesday, said the church school is the appropriate venue for values-related issues.
"The two issues talk about values," he said. "A church is an appropriate place to come together and celebrate a victory for the values of the people of Texas."
Don't ya love how Rick Perry doesn't even have to pretend he ain't a theocrat?
The age of consent for females in Texas is seventeen years old. But if a consenting 17-year old gets pregnant - and let's remember there are plenty of 17-year old married females in Texas - parental authorization for an abortion will be mandated if Perry and the Texas cultists have their way.
Any bets as to when Governor "Good Hair" Perry will be signing the Parents For Genital Mutilation Act? Perhaps by then the contentious political climate will have cooled enough for Perry to climb right into the pulpit and briefly genuflect for the press corp before signing that one.