A bill that would "prohibit" diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at "public institutions of higher education" in Texas has been introduced by a Republican legislator, as first reported by Christopher Rufo of City Journal.
Texas H.B. No. 1006 seeks to diffuse all legislation in relation to DEI and prevent the promotion, funding or sponsorship of the ideology in state-funded post-secondary schools.
Introduced by state House Representative Carl Tepper (R-Texas), the document puts an emphasis on a commitment to intellectual diversity and a variety of viewpoints.
Specifically, the bill seeks to prohibit "the funding, promotion, sponsorship, or support of" any office of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It also seeks to prohibit the above for any "initiative or formulation of diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond what is necessary to uphold the equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."
The bill also seems to endorse a more historical definition of equality, stating that it "prohibits" the "endorsement or dissuasion of, or interference with, any lifestyle, race, sex, religion, or culture. "
Should any institution be found guilty of non-compliance, the bill permits the victim to bring action upon the institution, forcing it to pay the person's court costs and attorney fees:
"A person may bring an action for injunctive relief against an institution of higher education to compel the institution to comply with this section. If the person prevails in the action, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs to the person," the bill reads.
"The institution shall pay the fees and costs from the budget of the office of the chief executive officer of the institution or the institution ’s system, as applicable," it concludes.
The legislation comes as Texas state Republicans battle investment group BlackRock over "woke" investment practices, referring to environmental, social, and governance scoring that demands businesses and governments make commitments to left-wing social and political ideologies in order to gain access to capital.
The bill's author, state Representative Tepper, won election in a run-off for Texas House District 84 in May 2022, garnering nearly 59% of the vote.
According to his campaign website, Tepper was endorsed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, as well as a senator and two state representatives. Showcasing a photo with President Trump on the homepage, Tepper's platform included securing the border, protecting gun rights and election integrity.