"Disingenuous efforts by creationists to portray themselves as persecuted in mainstream academia for their anti-evolution beliefs are getting a boost from a Texas lawmaker," reported the Texas Freedom Network in a March 9, 2011, post on its blog. House Bill 2454, introduced in the Texas House of Representatives on March 8, 2011, would, if enacted, provide, "An institution of higher education may not discriminate against or penalize in any manner, especially with regard to employment or academic support, a faculty member or student based on the faculty member's or student's conduct of research relating to the theory of intelligent design or other alternate theories of the origination and development of organisms." The sole sponsor of HB 2454 is Bill Zedler (R-District 96).
Describing the bill as following "the strategy by creationist/'intelligent design' proponents to portray themselves as martyrs," TFN noted that the strategy was exemplified by the creationist propaganda film Expelled, fronted by Ben Stein, which NCSE extensively debunked at Expelled Exposed. TFN concluded, "Institutions of higher education should — and do — protect academic freedom. Rep. Zedler's bill would instead require our colleges and universities to aid and protect academic fraud. But with the State Board of Education promoting anti-science propaganda in public schools, we shouldn't be surprised that higher education is increasingly a target as well."