Texas lawmaker aims to repeal local LGBTQ protections despite openly Gay HIV+ son
Texas House of Representatives member Rick Miller is against abortion, free breakfast in public schools, required immunizations, equal pay for woman and his own son.
Rep. Miller, R-Sugar Land, is the author of a bill which would repeal local ordinances recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.
Beau Miller, Rick Miller’s son, is an HIV-positive LGBT activist. This Associated Press article details that for the first time ever Beau and his partner Summers spent last Christmas with Rep. Miller and Beau’s family.
The AP reported that Beau and his partner brought a gift and talked with his parents and grandparents.
“We talked like families do,” said Beau Miller, 42, told AP. “It was just a really good moment.”
Seven weeks later, however, the good moment passed. Rick Miller had filed his bill which would allow his son to be fired for who he loved. He told AP that gays have “become a protected class” whose status is “discriminatory toward me” and other Christians.
“I’m a person who believes in individual liberty and freedom,” Rick said to AP, “and I don’t discriminate personally.”
Beau Miller told AP that he thinks the conservative group that wrote the bill’s language saw his father as an ideal sponsor for the legislation.
“There’s a theory that if Rick Miller can do this and his own son is gay,” Beau told AP. “It creates greater weight that this should happen.”
This is just the latest in the strains in their relationship. Beau came out at 27, when his parents started to question why there weren’t more women in his life.
“Dad’s not a guy who gets angry. He was upset,” Beau Miller said to AP of his father’s reaction. “Dad had a lot of questions. There were concerns. This is not the life that he wants for his son,’ that type of thing. But he’s not a yeller.”
In 2006, Beau was diagnosed with HIV. It took until 2009 for him to tell his parents. Before he told them, he co-founded the LIVE Consortium- a non-profit hoping to reduce the stigma surrounding those living with HIV.
Rep. Rick Miller told AP he supports his son in all aspects of his life except his sexual orientation. “I personally feel that’s a chosen lifestyle,” he said.
Beau disagrees, saying that doesn’t add up.
“I can no more be straight than my father can be gay,” he said to AP. “And so, selective support is an interesting idea for a parent, I think.”
Rick Miller was last reelected in his district Sugar Land, which encompasses suburbs outside of Houston, in 2014 with an overwhelming 69.7 percent of the vote. This is his second term in the Texas House of Representatives.
Ben Weiner is a contributor for GayRVA and RVAMag. 'Nuff said.
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