Steve Hotze Hates Dan Patrick, Loves The Texas Observer

Steve Hotze, right, at the 2014 convention of the Republican Party of Texas
Christopher Hooks
Steve Hotze, right, at the 2014 convention of the Republican Party of Texas

It’s nice to be read. On Thursday, the Observer published a short item on the anti-gay marriage resolution Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s Senate passed this week. The gist of the piece: The resolution amounted to nothing, and reflected Patrick’s failure to pass other socially conservative legislation through his chamber. Because of that, his conscious attempts to blame the House for not passing gay-baiting bills are a bit… strange.

The piece was endorsed by an unusual source—would-be conservative warlord and pseudo-medical quack Steve Hotze, who leads the Conservative Republicans of Texas. Hotze is a considerable, oddball force in GOP politics here in Texas. Yes, he raps. But he’s not simply a joke: his endorsements carry real weight, and the CRT is an influential group. He was a huge fan of Patrick during the election last year:

Yesterday, the CRT sent out a lengthy email to its supporters, excerpting much of our piece. The headline—“Republican Leadership Fails to Defend Biblical Marriage: Huge Opportunity Squandered.”

Here’s a sample of the juicier bits. (Emphasis Hotze’s, throughout, and pics of the full email here.)

The reason the Republican leadership in the House and Senate did not pass a law prohibiting the issuance of homosexual marriage licenses is because they chose not to bring it up for a vote. […] Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and his lieutenant, Senator Joan Huffman, refused even to give a hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee on SB 673, the senate companion bill to HB 4105, the Preservation of State Sovereignty and Marriage Act.

Hotze blames Abbott and Straus too, at length, but his criticism of Patrick is the most notable part. What are the stakes here? Gay people, you see, are “fascists” who going to force “the practice of sodomy” on Texas “families, churches, schools and businesses.” (Wait, how does a business practice sodomy?)

A bill preserving Biblical marriage in Texas should have been passed by the Texas Legislature months ago. The legislature has passed hundreds of other bills, but the Republican leaders chose not to pass legislation that would defend the Texas Marriage Amendment against the usurpation of our state sovereignty by the federal courts. Their lack of action and cowardice is inexcusable.

The homosexuals are intent on destroying Biblical marriage and throwing our state and nation into sexual and moral anarchy. They are fascists who want to force the acceptance and normalization of the homosexual lifestyle, the practice of sodomy, upon individuals, families, churches, schools and businesses. They want the government to mandate that homosexual conduct be taught to school children starting in kindergarten. The teachers will encourage the children to experiment with homosexual activity so that they can more easily be recruited into the homosexual lifestyle. The homosexuals and their pro-homosexual allies in the media are demonizing Christians and intend to criminalize Biblical Christianity.

Hotze instructs his email recipients to call Abbott and ask for a special session on gay-baiting. Good luck with that.

Then, he copy-and-pastes much of the Observer’s piece. Here’s the last graph quoted from our story—again, emphasis his—followed by his commentary:

It’s a comprehensive flop for the forces who oppose gay marriage. Nonetheless, Patrick told the Senate to buck up. They “should be proud,” he said. “The House decided not to have this debate.” That’s a dig at Speaker Joe Straus, of course. But since Patrick couldn’t get anything consequential out of his own chamber either, who is he pointing fingers at?
Texas failed to lead the nation in defense of Biblical marriage. How tragic! This was so avoidable!

Hotze is a clown—a lot of Republicans think so, too—but he’s an important and powerful clown. A session in which both the tea party and Hotze are unhappy with Patrick is not the worst session the state could have had.

After the 2014 election, there was some talk that Hotze had drawn up a nefarious “Contract for Texas” as a plan to advance socially conservative legislation, with the knowledge of some people in Patrick’s camp. So much for that, I guess.

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Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin.

Published at 2:31 pm CST