Texas has thus become the 46th state in the US to officially classify and commemorate the 1915-1923 atrocities in Ottoman Turkey’s as genocide.
“We are grateful to the Texas House of Representatives for standing on the right side of history by making their dynamic state the latest member of our Union to unequivocally and vociferously honor the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide despite overwhelming Turkish opposition,” said Chair of Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region, Nora Hovsepian.
“This incredible victory, which achieves universal recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Western Region’s 19 states, was possible because of the outstanding unity and activism demonstrated by the diverse Armenian community of Texas, the unflinching leadership of State Representative Scott Sanford and his fellow lawmakers, as well as the dedication and persistent work of our grassroots – ANCA-Houston and ANCA-Dallas – and staff,” Hovsepian added.
The resolution, which had more than 50 original bipartisan cosponsors, reads, in part: “During World War I, the crumbling Ottoman Empire began a systematic campaign to eradicate its Armenian population, which then numbered more than two million; and… as many as 1.5 million Armenians perished and today, only 3 million live in Armenia, a country that covers no more than 10 percent of the ancient Armenian homeland, while the Armenian diaspora numbers 8 to 10 million in countries around the world, including the United States. […] The House of Representatives of the 85th Texas Legislature hereby recognize the Armenian genocide.”
The recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Texas follows renewed activism in the state, including the 2015 defeat of anti-Armenian resolutions.
The resolution was introduced by Rep. Sanford on January 26, followed by a public hearing in the International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs committee on April 24.