The New York Times is the latest media outlet to weigh in on the election of Rep. Joe Straus as speaker of the Texas House.
“The rise of Mr. Straus, a fiscal conservative who has not toed the conservative line on issues like abortion and gay rights, was widely seen as a defeat for the socially conservative wing of the party,” The Times reports.
With regard to gay rights, the statement is only partly true. As The Times goes on to note, Straus did vote against a ban on gay and lesbian foster parents, but he was certainly not alone among Republicans in doing so. In fact, it was powerful Republicans who killed the foster-parenting ban after it passed the House, because they said it would displace children and prove costly for the state. And beyond that one vote, Straus in fact has largely “toed the line” on gay rights. He voted in favor of placing Prop 2, Texas’ constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, on the ballot. And he voted against two bills aimed at promoting safe schools for LGBT youth. For more on Straus and LGBT issues, go here.