Texas Recognizes the Armenian Genocide; Becomes 46th State to Acknowledge the Crime

AUSTIN, Tex.—The Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 191, titled “Recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” on May 19, thus making The Lone Star State the 46th state in the U.S. to officially classify and commemorate the 1915-1923 annihilation of Ottoman Turkey’s indigenous Armenian community as genocide.

The Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 191, titled ‘Recognizing the Armenian Genocide,’ on May 19,

“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,” remarked Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) Chair 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. While many Texan-Armenians and community groups were instrumental in the passage of and building ground for HR191, I would like to specifically recognize the former ANCA-Dallas founding chair Lucia Nazarian for initiating Texas’ recognition of the Armenian Genocide, as well as Focused Advocacy President Brandon Todd Aghamalian and University of Texas Austin Professor and Armenian Church of Austin representative Mihran Aroian for their leadership in bringing the Armenian community together to make this important recognition a reality,” continued Hovsepian.

The resolution, which had more than 50 original bipartisan cosponsors and passed unanimously, declares, in part, that “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,” concluding with the resolved clause “That 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 Lone Star State, including the 2015 defeat of anti-Armenian resolutions as well as adoption of HR 1541, which recognized Texans’ contributions to the Near East Relief that saved 132,000 orphans of the Armenian Genocide. The latter humanitarian effort was recognized by ANCA-Dallas during its April 2, 2016 ‘Texas We Thank You’ Gala, at which Rep. Sanford received the ANCA-Dallas Advocate of Justice award for his long-time support for Armenian Genocide awareness.

HR 191 was introduced by Rep. Sanford on jan. 26, followed by a public hearing in the International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs committee on April 24, during which ANCA-WR Chief Legislative Consultant Haig Baghdassarian joined a large group of Armenian Americans as well as representatives from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission and Houston’s Holocaust Museum in testifying in support of HR 191. Following the testimony, ANCA-WR called its online activists in Texas to action, as a result of which hundreds of letters were emailed to state legislators. Many more phone calls were made through joint efforts of the Armenian community in a strong demonstration of unity and grassroots activism.

Texas’ passage of HR 191 follows the Wyoming Governor’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in April, thus completing universal recognition in the ANCA-WR, which consists of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. View an interactive map of all US states’ official record on the Armenian Genocide.

The ANCA-WR Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western U.S. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.


Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


    • I am Turk and I say deep in my heart . Thank you Texas.
      And I am apologize from Armenians . YES our fathers killed Armenian CHRISTIANS. They died because they did not denial Jesus. The people who survived during the genocide because they denialed Jesus and became muslim. If we say turks Killed Armenians we will dishonor their blood and faith.
      The question is this the Armenians who died they were faithful Christian are you an faithful Christian today?

  1. Thank you Texas Legislature for acknowledging The Armenian Genocide as fact. I am overwhelmed by your acknowledgement of this horrific atrosity against my ancestors. My whole family would not be here today if not for my grandparents who escaped this atrosity. I heard their lives. I wrote everything down what they experienced.

  2. 46 recognize. Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi and Alabama have not. How can American’s outside of those states rally and thus influence those states to recognize the genocide? How can Armenians and other people within those states rally and move to recognition?
    Q. If all 50 states recognize the Armenian Genocide, will our federal government be left with no option but to officially recognize?
    Could someone at ANCA organize an effort to push?

  3. good comment john najarian- trump will find a way not to recognize our genocide. also what we need is israel and for obvious reasons they will never acknowledge it. the holocaust to them must always be at the forefront.

  4. Osman ozturk,
    Very good question Osman. There are no good or bad Christians, you are either Christian or not. Some are weak others are strong, but as long as they are Christians, they believe that Jesus is the son of God and Christ has risen, than you are a Christian.

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