As the Texas Senate was getting down to work on the “bathroom bill,” Dr. Steve Hotze, an anti-gay activist and longtime business partner of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, began running television ads against Speaker Joe Straus in his district demanding the measure receive a vote in the House. After Senate Bill 6 passed the full Senate, Dr. Hotze’s plan includes running TV ads and robocalls in the districts of other key Texas House members.
Dr. Hotze is now also personally emailing all Texas House GOP lawmakers asking them to state their position on SB6 and promises to publish the names of those who are for it and against it by this Friday.
Feedback from a significant number of Quorum Report readers indicates Dr. Hotze is not as familiar around the Capitol as, for example, the political activities of Midland oilman and Empower Texans Chairman Tim Dunn.
The Houston delegation is certainly familiar with Hotze. It’s probably an understatement to say Hotze’s history of involvement in Harris County politics is extensive. It was in the Bayou City where he was joined by Lt. Gov. Patrick in defeating the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Gov. Greg Abbott, risk averse as always, did not get involved with that until it was pretty clear HERO would be defeated and sent out a tweet supporting Hotze’s position right before the election. In the suburbs around Houston, Hotze’s activism and political cash were critical in unseating former Representatives Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, and Wayne Smith, R-Baytown, in last year’s Republican primaries.
Outside Southeast Texas, though, Dr. Hotze has not had nearly as much impact and therefore is simply not as well known. Critics of the “bathroom bill,” including the Texas Association of Business, argue Hotze’s latest cause will hurt the Texas economy because it is viewed by many as discriminatory.
Given all that, it seems appropriate to provide a primer on Dr. Hotze’s political activities over the years and let readers judge for themselves.
Hotze’s group, the Conservative Republicans of Texas, has been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group alongside the New Black Panthers, Neo-Nazi organizations like the Atomwaffen Division in San Antonio, Holocaust Denial in Kerrville, and chapters of the KKK like the Militant Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Flint, Texas.
His activism stretches back as early as 1982, when Dr. Hotze fought the “homosexual agenda” in Austin.
At that time, the city had adopted an ordinance “forbidding employment discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.” Hotze helped organized a ballot initiative to repeal it but lost the vote by 63 percent. After that, it was said that Dr. Hotze became frustrated with Austin and moved to Houston, where he has been fighting the “radical homosexual agenda” and has often offended other minorities ever since.
In 2007, conservative writer Robert Novak described Hotze as “a leader in the highly conservative Christian Reconstruction movement,” founded by a guy named RJ Rushdoony. Hotze has been deeply involved with Rushdoony’s Coalition on Revival, which in 1986 produced a document called the Manifesto for the Christian Church. Hotze was among its signatories.
The coalition believed, among other things, that a wife may work outside the home only with her husband’s consent, “Biblical spanking” that results in “temporary or superficial bruises or welts” should not be considered a crime, no doctor shall provide medical service on the Sabbath, and all disease and disability is caused by the sin of Adam and Eve.
Hotze’s source of income, including hormone treatments for women, is highly controversial in the medical community. But he can afford to play in politics because many are willing to pay thousands of dollars per treatment for the therapies he offers through Hotze Health & Wellness Center, HotzeVitamins and Hotze Pharmacy.
The treatments he offers are “Like selling snake oil,” said Dr. Carlos Hamilton Jr., a professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston, in a Houston Press report in 2005. Hotze did not comment and stands by his business.
Per his website, Hotze’s medical radio show “Health & Wellness Solutions” aired on KSEV – owned by Lt. Gov. Patrick – for 11 years. Hotze, Patrick, and several others were owners in a radio station in Dallas for the past decade or so.
When the Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage is legal across the United States, Dr. Hotzewas naturally very unhappy.
During an event last year attended by Lt. Gov. Patrick and Sen. Paul Bettencourt – who nearly screamed at Texas Association of Business President Chris Wallace during last week’s hearing on bathrooms – Hotze told a crowd of about 300 people that the gay marriage ruling would lead to the legalization of pedophilia. “Pedophilia is the next point. They’re going to come down and change that law,” Hotze said. Hotze acknowledged that those comments are unsettling even to many conservative Republicans.
Patrick, by the way, received a “Warrior of Biblical Values Award” from Hotze at that same event where Jared Woodfill, now President of the Conservative Republicans of Texas, was announced as a candidate for Republican Party of Texas Chairman.
At the Houston launch of an initiative called Faith, Family, and Freedom, Hotze brandished a sword – yes, a sword – and said “Satanic cults” are the driving force behind the “homosexual movement.” He also demanded LGBT people leave Houston altogether. “Drive them out of our city,” Hotze said. “Send them back to San Francisco.”
In an interview in 2015, Hotze went further about the possible ramifications of the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.
“They want to intimidate individuals, churches, schools and families to celebrate those that participate in anal sex. That’s what they love and enjoy: anal sex,” Hotze said. “And that’s bad, that’s evil. It’s a terrible thing to try to do and they want to try to teach it to kids in schools,” Hotze said. “Kids will be encouraged to practice sodomy in kindergarten.”
In that same vein, Hotze has often blasted Texas House leadership for being in sync with the “homosexual political movement.”
Case in point: During the 2016 GOP primary, Hotze supported former Texas Public Policy Foundation President Jeff Judson in his challenge to Speaker Straus in San Antonio. During the race, Hotze suggested the Jewish Speaker was working to outlaw Christianity.
“Speaker Joe Straus and his RINO lieutenants, members of the Homosexual Political Movement (LGBT and Log Cabin Republicans), their corporate business donors and pro-Muslim sympathizers are organizing and spending millions of dollars to drive Christian conservatives and their values out of the Texas Republican Party,” Hotze wrote. “I am not going to tell you that if this liberal, secular cabal has its way, then the criminalization of Christianity will be the order of the day.”
Copyright 2017, Harvey Kronberg, www.quorumreport.com, All rights are reserved. Join us daily at Quorum Report for up to the minute developments and insights from the Texas Capitol.