Governor Holds Controversial Bill-Signing Event in Evangelical School Gymnasium

June 5, 2005

Source: The New York Times

On June 5, 2005 The New York Times reported, "making good on a Republican campaign call to celebrate with 'Christian friends,' Gov. Rick Perry traveled to an evangelical school here on Sunday to put his signature on measures to restrict abortion and prohibit same-sex marriage. About 100 protesters lined the street outside the school, Calvary Christian Academy, denouncing the unusual signing as breaching the constitutional separation between church and state. The event, termed historic by the church's pastor, Bob Nichols, was pointedly held in the academy's gymnasium, apart from the church sanctuary, to deflect complaints. A plan by the Perry campaign to film the event for political commercials was dropped earlier. Mr. Perry, who may face a tough primary challenge next year, described the event as 'pro-family, pro-life' and nonpartisan. On a dais before a cheering crowd of close to 1,000 churchgoers and leaders of evangelical ministries, he signed a bill passed during this session of the Texas Legislature requiring girls under 18 to obtain their parents' consent before having an abortion. Previously, they needed only to notify their parents."