All in for Equality Coalition Defiant in the Face of Record Number of Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills

Press Contact:
Johnathan Gooch, Equality Texas, (512) 922-4040, johnathan.gooch@equalitytexas.org.

January 10, 2023

This year, we have already seen more anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed than in the 2021 regular session, even before the gavel has fallen. During 2021 millions of LGBTQ+ Texans found their private lives at the center of a very public debate. Our coalition has a simple message for our elected officials in the capital: The dignity of LGBTQ+ people is not up for debate. We are committed to fighting and defeating every bill that would harm, silence, or erase our community. We have always risen to the challenge and will continue to do so for our communities.

Texas legislators have assembled a slate of invasive bills that spy on our teachers, pry into our medical decisions, and dictate our brunch entertainment. They call us radical, consider for yourself: Is it radical to believe that kids should learn about the world ahead of them, including the stories of LGBTQ+ people? Is it radical that families and doctors should be able to make private medical decisions without the government looking over their shoulder? Is it radical to believe that business owners, not politicians, should decide when and whether to host a drag performance?

Year after year we have proven that the love of our community is stronger than any ounce of hate. Our community is resilient, but we shouldn’t have to be. Our organizations are committed to preserving fundamental Texas values: privacy, dignity, and family. We will be championing bills that address homelessness in our community, comprehensive statewide nondiscrimination, and laws that secure the dignity and safety of trans people, who face a very real risk of violence in this state. 

Our coalition today brings news of an age-old truth: LGBTQ+ people are just like every other Texan. We want to live our lives free of government intrusion, enjoy the nature and beauty of our state, and eat good bbq. And we know that Texans have our backs

 

Statement from Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas:

“While bills as absurd as the Drag Tax seem like a joke, there is nothing funny about the surveillance state that Texas lawmakers hope to enforce this legislative session. School classrooms are being censored for all references to LGBTQ+ characters. Young people are being denied health care that could save their lives and parents prosecuted for loving their children. We believe in dignity for all Texans, and we will not sit idly by while our LGBTQ+ neighbors are being stripped of their basic rights.”

 

Statement from  Transgender Education Network of Texas, Executive Director, Emmett Schelling (he/him/his) :

This legislative session like the countless ones before, TENT is ready to make a show of force, Texans are done being sold to the highest bidder by our states leaders. The Transgender Education Network of Texas and our equality coalition continue to fight for the dignity for all Texans, and with the wind at our backs and history of resilience, we are ready. Trans Texans live in pride and beautiful authenticity, no matter the battle we face. Texas continues to break records for the most anti progressive bills filed, Trans Texans and our allies continue to break records stopping them.”

 

Statement from Oni Blair, ACLU of Texas executive director:

“LGBTQIA+ Texans are a part of this state and will never stop living openly and authentically. But the current onslaught of political attacks against LGBTQIA+ Texans — particularly transgender and intersex youth — is devastating and needs to stop. We must join together to fend off these cruel attacks and fight for a Texas where every person can live and thrive.”

 

Statement from Shelly Skeen, Senior Attorney, Lambda Legal:

“To date, no less than 35 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been pre-filed for the 2023 Texas state legislative session. These bills criminalize doctors and parents who support and provide best-practice health care for trans youth, ban correcting gender markers on birth certificates, target drag shows, censor classroom content including restricting the discussion of human sexuality, and ban transgender k-12 and college students from participating in interscholastic and collegiate sports. The target could not be more obvious, and the real danger to the health and lives of transgender youth more dire. However, as was true during the 2021 Texas legislative onslaught, Lambda Legal stands ready alongside our Texas partners to do all we can to stem this tide of anti-LGBTQ+ hate and ensure all Texans – including LGBTQ+ Texans and Texans living with HIV – are protected at home, in school, and at work.”

 

Statement from Texas Freedom Network President Val Benavidez:

“Going into this legislative session, we already know there are politicians in this state who somehow cannot see the beauty added to our state by the LGBTQIA+ community. Last session, they did everything they could to target LGBTQIA+ Texans–taking aim at transgender kids and harming innocent children just to score political points. Their cruelty continued in 2022 when loving families were attacked for providing their trans children with lifesaving medical care. The lives of Texans are not political playthings. As we enter this session, we’re dedicated to drowning out these vicious attacks with love and action as we advocate for inclusive, equitable policies that expand the rights of LGBTQIA+ Texans.”

 

Statement from Preston Knight, Texas Organizing and Coalitions Lead, the Human Rights Campaign:

“Power-hungry anti-equality politicians in the Texas state house are once again bullying LGBTQ+ children and terrorizing our families. These politicians are spreading hateful propaganda and creating more stigma, discrimination, and violence against transgender and non-binary people just to rile up extremist members of their base. 

“Before legislative session gaveled in today, anti-equality members in the Texas legislature continued their attacks on LGBTQ+ Texans with more discriminatory legislation.  These bills are not solving problems Texans face on a daily basis. They’re crafted with the harmful goal of seeking to block LGBTQ+ Texans’ access to life-saving medical care; our right to make choices about our own bodies; our right to dignity; and frankly, our right to exist. 

“The Human Rights Campaign is dedicated and invested in Texas, with staff on the ground, working with in-state partners to defeat this legislation and protect the lives of LGBTQ+ Texans.”

 

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. 

The Transgender Education Network of Texas is the largest statewide, BIPOC trans-led, trans- focused policy, education, and advocacy organization in the state of Texas. 

Founded in 1995, the Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of more than 150,000 religious and community leaders who support religious freedom, individual liberties and public education. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is the leading civil rights organization in the Lone Star State. Since our formation in 1938, we have worked in the courts, the legislature, and through public education to protect civil rights and individual liberty. 

Lambda Legal, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. 

The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law. We empower our 3 million members and supporters to mobilize against attacks on the most marginalized people in our community.

 

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When you hear hate, speak up

November 24, 2022 by Johnathan Gooch

My beloved Texans,

On Saturday evening, we hosted our Somewhere Over the Rainbow Gala. It was a joyous night celebrating the richness, talent, and history of our community. A few short hours later we woke up to the devastating news about the shootings in Colorado on Transgender Day of Remembrance. We join all Americans mourning for the loss of our LGBTQ+ family in Colorado.

An affirming word can save a young person’s life. And every hateful word contains the seeds of violence. Politicians and public figures who spew hate against their neighbors must be held accountable for the actions of their followers. In the wake of a tragedy like this, we must commit to nonviolence in action and in word. So, when you hear hate, speak up.

An unapologetic reproach of hate requires all of us. We have to meet the urgency of this moment, and get pissed off. We can lead with love and joy, but we have a right to be angry. Because apathy does not win battles—action does.

What role will you play in our liberation? What role will you play to ensure trans young people can access life saving healthcare, that trans people can thrive and live free from fear, that intersex young people are not subjected to nonconsensual surgeries, that teachers can speak the truth about race, sexual orientation, and gender identity in schools, and that we can live without the threat of violence?

When you understand where we come from, what we have achieved even while living on the margins, you witness our fortitude. Our power has always come from the people—from every vote, every person that shows up at the Capitol, every choice to live authentically, every couple that creates a family, and our love for our neighbors—that cannot be erased, it cannot be invalidated.

We will fight until we see full equality for all Texans.

In Solidarity,

Ricardo Martinez (he/him)
CEO
Equality Texas

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Election Results

November 11, 2022 by Johnathan Gooch

A Look at the Election Results

Over the last year LGBTQ+ Texans have been under constant attack by our state’s top political leaders. These politicians have cultivated a climate that has endangered lives, they’ve aligned themselves with vigilante hate groups, white nationalists, and they have targeted our safe spaces, our celebrations, and our families.

This election was about sending a message that no matter who holds the reins of power in our state, LGBTQ+ Texans and our allies will never stop pushing for a better future. With every phone call made, every text message sent, every door knocked, and every vote cast, we delivered that message.

While we did not win every election or change the balance of power, there were victories that deserve to be celebrated.

With the election of Christian Manuel-Hayes and Venton Jones, and Jolanda Jones, the House LGBTQ+ Caucus will grow in size and influence. Because of their wins, we now have more openly LGBTQ+ members in the Texas House than at any other point in our state’s history. That’s worth celebrating.

And there’s more to celebrate:

The Equality Texas 501(c)(4) endorsed 88 candidates for state-level positions, most running for Texas House or Texas Senate. Seventy three percent of our endorsed candidates won their races outright, with 80% of our endorsed candidates successfully securing election to the Texas Legislature. During redistricting, the Republican controlled Legislature redrew lines to try to keep State Representative James Talarico from returning to the Texas House. Talarico, an unapologetic champion for LGBTQ+ equality, relocated to House District 50 and was elected to the new district overwhelmingly. We look forward to continuing to work with Representative Talarico.

In Collin County’s House District 70, Equality Texas-endorsed candidate Mihaela Plesa will be heading to Austin as the new State Representative of this recently redistricted seat. Plesa defeated an opponent who supports dangerous anti-trans sports bans, adding another voice in the Legislature that will defend LGBTQ+ Texans.

House District 92 was once represented by one of the most prolific anti-LGBTQ legislators in Texas. On Election night, this Tarrant County seat was won by Equality Texas-endorsed candidate Salman Bhojani who garnered 58% of the vote. Bhojani will join Dr. Suleman Lalani as the first Muslim State Representatives in Texas.

In July of this year, Congress voted on the ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ which would have codified same-sex marriage into law. Representative Mayra Flores, who was the newly elected Congresswoman to Texas Congressional District 34, voted against marriage equality.  Flores was handily defeated on Election night by Congressman Vicente Gonzalez who voted in support of codifying same-sex marriage into law.

We have all watched local school boards transform into battlefields against extremists who want to ban books, censor LGBTQ+ identities and unseat school board members who dare to disagree with their goal of imposing “conservative Christian” nationalism on every school district in Texas. Thankfully, that agenda did not appeal to voters in places like Austin ISD, Round Rock ISD or Manor ISD. When anti-LGBTQ+ organization, ‘Moms for Liberty’ put their candidates on the ballot, voters outright rejected them. Thankfully, we have seen the re-election of pro-education champions like Tiffanie Harrison in Round Rock ISD and Arati Singh in Austin ISD.

In a state as big as Texas, elections have an outsized impact. For help breaking down the results, join us next Wednesday at 7pm for a deeper dive into what the results mean for LGBTQ+ Texans.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time and to everyone who showed up to the polls, our power is growing, and you are the proof of that.

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Texas Governor’s Debate

October 7, 2022 by Johnathan Gooch

Race for Texas Governor

Last week, Beto O’Rourke and Greg Abbott went head to head in the only debate before voting starts in the Texas governor’s race. They talked about a lot of issues that impact people in Texas across the LGBTQ+ community and more. We believe an informed electorate is essential to getting the right people in positions of power. If you haven’t watched it yet, you can do so below. Share with your friends and family who are undecided or on the fence. Remember, statewide elections can’t be gerrymandered. Every vote counts.

 

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EQTX Endorses Openly LGBTQ members of the Caucus

September 7, 2022 by Johnathan Gooch

Contact: Johnathan Gooch, Communications Director, Equality Texas, johnathan.gooch@equalitytexas.org

Equality Texas, the largest nonpartisan statewide political advocacy organization working for the elimination of discrimination against the LGTBQ+ community, today endorses the following openly LGBTQ members of the LGBTQ caucus.

“The LGBTQ caucus has been a team of staunch allies and advocates in dark times. Having so many openly LGBTQ members of the house is a comfort to queer Texans across the state,” said Rachel Hill, Government Affairs Director at Equality Texas. “We couldn’t do our work without these champions of equality.”

Equality Texas is proud to endorse:

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Equality Texas is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, serving as the largest nonpartisan statewide political advocacy organization working for the elimination of discrimination targeting the LGTBQ+ community. This work occurs primarily within, but not limited to, odd-numbered years when the Texas Legislature is in session. During the session, Equality Texas works to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ Texans alongside pro-equality legislators and protects LGBTQ+ Texans from legislative attacks.

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Queer Texas Crisis Fund Announcement

June 3, 2022 by Johnathan Gooch

Contact:  Johnathan Gooch | johnathan.gooch@equalitytexas.org

                          

DALLAS, TX  – May 31, 2022 –  Texas Pride Impact Funds (TPIF) in partnership with Equality Texas Foundation announce that $42,000 of rapid response funding is being distributed to grassroots nonprofits serving trans individuals, their families, and communities. We’re grateful for the support of Gucci, Pure for Men, and TENT who helped make these community-focused grants possible. The partnership is also launching the Queer Texas Crisis Fund (QTCF) 2022 fundraising campaign commencing with the start of Pride Month.

The politically driven attempts to ban lifesaving, affirming health care for trans youth  including the recent DFPS investigations of trans kids and their loving  families have resulted in severe, life-threatening consequences.  Trans-supportive organizations across Texas have seen: 

(1) increased demand for mental health services for trans kids and parents alike; (2) skyrocketing requests of gender marker and name correction services; and (3) parents retreating from trusted online support groups in this climate of parental investigations; and (4) new financial burdens on families for legal defense and the cost of maintaining lifesaving care at significant distances from home.

In response to these accelerating, political attacks on trans youth and their parents, TPIF’s Pride Month activities will focus on honoring people of transgender, non-binary, and genderqueer experience.  The initiative is intended to bring desperately needed resources to small non-profit organizations already working, with minimal resources, and now experiencing compounding duress due to the reckless, politically driven assaults.

“Age-appropriate and individualized medical treatments for trans youth are supported by the state and nation’s largest physicians’ groups including the American and Texas Medical Associations,” said TPIF Executive Director Ron Guillard. “These organizations also oppose Texas’ abuse investigations and other efforts to block or alter gender-affirming care for minors. Sadly, this is just another example of the pattern of some Texas government leaders continuing to deny science, claiming false narratives for political gain. With our Pride Month QTCF 2022 fundraising we are committed to face the urgency to deliver more support to families of trans youth and the non-profits supporting them, and to build a stronger and mightier ecosystem of actors working on LGBTQ+ equality in Texas.”

“Since 2021, anti-LGBTQ+ politicians, including the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general have been laying the groundwork to turn Texans against their LGBTQ+ neighbors. They have found it politically advantageous to spread lies about and villainize LGBTQ+ people—especially transgender people. As a result of this sustained fear-mongering we have seen a marked increase in bias and discrimination across the state that has had serious consequences for LGBTQ+ Texans’ sense of safety and well-being. Grassroots organizations across Texas are providing critical resources that we are happy to support,” said Equality Texas CEO Ricardo Martinez.

QTCF originally launched in the summer of 2020 as an innovative partnership between the two organizations to raise money during the COVID-19 pandemic to support LGBTQ+ serving nonprofit organizations providing emergency relief to communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This unique partnership brings together complementary strengths of the two organizations and their collective access to resources. 

“With Equality Texas, we have high hopes for QTCF 2022 fundraising based on donation patterns and donor activism over the past two months. A February Twitter post singling out TPIF’s work in support of the trans community across Texas resulted in a cycle of donations from around the globe. A generous contribution by the Laughing Gull Foundation, Durham NC, to TPIF for our rapid response support of Texas organizations in crisis because of our governor’s and attorney general’s actions cemented our commitment to launch the rapid response awards and follow-on QTCF 2022 fundraising. As a community foundation, Texas Pride Impact Funds is eager to leverage our influence and networks to access more resources, whether given to us for regranting initiatives or where we recommend direct funding needs, as we continually strive to stay abreast of – and help meet – the greatest needs in the LGBTQ+ communities across our large state.”

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About Texas Pride Impact Funds

The Mission of TPIF is to inspire giving and investment to secure equitable opportunities that serve and enrich the lives of LGBTQ+ Texans for generations to come. TPIF was chartered in 2015 as the first LGBTQ+ statewide foundation for Texas. The organization operates under fiscal sponsorship of the Dallas Foundation, a 501(c)(3), publicly supported charity, Federal Tax ID 75-2890371. The Dallas Foundation provides TPIF investment management and other administrative services, helping TPIF leaders and volunteers focus on community and donor engagement.

In November 2018, TPIF launched its annual Community Grants program, awarding $120,000 to sixteen LGBTQ+ supportive organizations across Texas; to date a total of $850,000 grants have been awarded (through March 2022). TPIF prioritizes organizations and projects that address the current and direct needs of LGBTQ+ communities while also seeking to correct the systemic injustices that unfairly burden people living within these identities and at their intersections. TPIF is supported by a growing donor community of individuals and families, corporations, and institutional donors.

About Equality Texas

Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.

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Equality Texas Endorses Venton Jones in May 24 Dallas Democratic Primary Runoff

May 20, 2022 by Johnathan Gooch

Contact: Johnathan Gooch, Equality Texas,  johnathan.gooch@equalitytexas.org 

Austin, Texas – May 20th, 2022 – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration, today endorsed Democratic Texas House Candidate Venton Jones for the May 24th primary runoff election.

“It is critically important that Equality Texans turn out en masse to vote on May 24th to ensure that we select politicians who will focus on platforms that address the needs of their communities rather than stoking fear to turn us against each other. Venton is a tireless advocate working to improve healthcare access, fighting for marginalized communities, and protecting voting rights for all Texans. We are confident he will continue this work for House District 100 when elected. Venton would also represent a number of historic firsts.  When elected, he will become the first out Black gay man openly living with HIV elected to the Texas House of Representatives and a welcome addition to the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus, House District 100, and the state of Texas will greatly benefit from his leadership,” said Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas.

“I represent a new generation of leaders committed to advancing equity and justice through experience, public policy, and organizing diverse communities. I will focus my energy on what is most important – the people of House District 100 and working to earn their trust, support and vote. Across our races, backgrounds, we want to be treated with dignity and respect. We all have a role to play in fostering a district where each one of us has the freedom to be ourselves, pursue our dreams, and have a good life—no exceptions” said Venton Jones, Democratic candidate for Texas House 100 in Dallas.

Early voting for the runoff election will end tomorrow, Friday, May 20. Tuesday, May 24 is Election Day. Voters will need to bring a valid photo ID when they head to the polling sites to vote. Election Day polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 24. As long as you are in line before 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

DART will be offering free transportation on election day and no proof of voter registration is required. Riders can use the promo code VOTE22 when checking out in the GoPass app for a complimentary Adult Local Day Pass. V Absentee and mail-in ballots must be postmarked or delivered by hand by 7pm.

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

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Statement on SCOTX Decision on Gov. Abbott’s directive to Department of Family and Protective Services

May 13, 2022 by Johnathan Gooch

For Immediate Release: All in For Equality Coalition Responds to Texas Supreme Court Decision on Gov. Abbott’s directive to Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate trans kids and their loving parents

Contact: Johnathan Gooch, Equality Texas, johnathan.gooch@equalitytexas.org

May 13, 2022 – AUSTIN, TEXAS Today the Texas Supreme Court weighed in on Gov. Abbott’s directive to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate parents that provide life-saving gender-affirming care to their children. The court was considering an appellate court’s decision to affirm an injunction that prevents DFPS from investigating the families of trans kids. That injunction prevented DFPS or the Governor from investigating families. Today, Texas’ highest court said that the Governor does not have the authority to investigate families or to direct DFPS to do so. While the court’s ruling narrows the scope of the injunction, it unequivocally states that the Governor was acting beyond the scope of his authority.

The Court narrowed the injunction on a technicality—the appeals court was only allowed to consider the potential harm to the plaintiffs, not the harm to all families in Texas. Therefore, the family involved in this dispute and Dr. Megan Mooney will remain protected under the injunction finding that DFPS’s actions were unlawful and caused irreparable harm. It would be unconscionable for DFPS to resume investigations. The Governor’s Directive is not the law and DFPS is not obligated to follow it.

Political leaders in our state, like Abbott and Paxton, have continuously focused on falsely stoking fear, and trying to criminalize transgender young people and their families. It is indefensible for any state leader to weaponize the child welfare system. Loving families belong together; providing life-saving care, recognized by every major medical association, is the epitome of love. Transgender youth deserve to be happy, safe, and—most importantly—alive.

The Court today ruled that the Governor cannot play politics with DFPS. The Governor’s misinformed and malicious opinions do not change DFPS’s mandate. Our coalition of organizations fighting for LGBTQ+ equality calls upon DFPS to end the investigations into trans kids and their families. We trust families and their doctors to make the best decisions about their children’s health care. Trans youth belong here in the state they call home, to live authentically as who they are, and have the right to bodily autonomy. The parents that protect and support them deserve to be celebrated not investigated. 

 

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

The Transgender Education Network of Texas is the largest statewide, BIPOC trans-led, trans-focused policy, education, and advocacy organization in the state of Texas.

Founded in 1995, the Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of more than 150,000 religious and community leaders who support religious freedom, individual liberties and public education.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is the leading civil rights organization in the Lone Star State. Since our formation in 1938, we have worked in the courts, the legislature, and through public education to protect civil rights and individual liberty.

Lambda Legal, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law. We empower our 3 million members and supporters to mobilize against attacks on the most marginalized people in our community.

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to end discrimination and achieve equality for transgender people, particularly those in our most vulnerable communities.

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Anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric is loud. We’re louder.

April 8, 2022 by Johnathan Gooch

The anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric has been loud lately. For the past few weeks some state leaders have taken every opportunity to paint the LGBTQ+ community as a threat, committing publicly to policies they will champion through the next legislative session.

Contributing to the noise 

This week alone the Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, pledged to extend the harmful anti-transgender sports ban to the collegiate level and bring Florida’s notorious “Don’t say gay/trans” bill to Texas. These comments were on the heels of Attorney General Paxton purposely misinterpreting state law to baselessly threaten pharmaceutical companies and Austin ISD’s Pride Week.

None of these threats hold the weight of law. But they’re also more than empty rhetoric.

For LGBTQ+ Texans who just want to live, work, and contribute to their communities in peace the constant chatter about potential attacks is exhausting. On top of that, all the noise creates confusion about what is and isn’t current law, feeding into a climate of fear where teachers don’t know if they can affirm their LGBTQ+ students, trans Texans are terrified they won’t have access to healthcare, healthcare providers are scared of providing life-saving care to trans patients, and kids are afraid to be themselves.

Beneath the noise, our community experiences real harm. We know that banning books, or targeting students based on race, genders, or religion has a direct impact on the bullying, harassment, and violence we see in our communities. We’re continuing to receive reports of kids being bullied and patients refused care just because of who they are. Our focus has to be on our community and how we can support them. Movement towards change can be slow, but it’s far more lasting than the media cycle our state leaders are playing to.

We’re making an intentional investment in grassroots organizing and electing pro-equality candidates this year. Help us gear up for 2023 by participating in organizing events across the state. 

The Continued Legal Fight

The injunction pausing CPS investigations into loving families with transgender children is still awaiting review at the Texas Supreme Court. At stake is whether or not the injunction will continue throughout the course of the original lawsuit against the Governor’s directive to the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS).

The injunction is crucial to avoiding irreparable harm to Texas transgender kids and those who love them through baseless investigations. Equality Texas, TENT, and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund have filed an amicus, or “friend of the court” brief elevating stories about how the Governor’s directive has already harmed families across the state. Sharing these stories with the public creates windows into the lives of families that could be any family, just trying to do what’s best for their children.

Making Change

Storytelling and visibility make change. Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) was last week and our community showed up for each other in a big way. Hundreds of Texans gathered on the Capitol steps at a rally last Saturday hosted by the All in for Equality Coalition made up of Equality Texas, the Texas Freedom Network, the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), ACLU of Texas and Lambda Legal.

Over 200 community members and healthcare professionals showed up at a recent protest against UT Southwestern’s decision to limit medically necessary, life-saving care for transgender youth.

These events weren’t in isolation. Texans truly embodied this TDOV as a day of joy, recognition, and power all across a state that seeks to silence us.

We will continue to gather, make noise, and fight back against the rhetoric, the policies, and the culture of fear created by some politicians in an effort to hold onto power.

Become a volunteer today. Only by doing the work can we change the hearts and minds of our state.

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Statement on the historic confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

April 7, 2022 by Johnathan Gooch

Statement from Ricardo Martinez, CEO Equality Texas

Equality Texas celebrates the historic, bi-partisan confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, the first Black woman to serve in the 233-year history of the Court. The Harvard Law School graduate and long time federal judge was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court today by a 53–47 vote. 

In addition to being the first Black woman, Judge Jackson will be the first former public defender to serve on the nation’s highest Court—bringing a valuable perspective on the true impact of the Court’s precedents. Judge Jackson is a brilliant legal mind with impressive qualifications and sound judicial temperament. We celebrate her historic nomination and believe the U.S. Supreme Court will be better with her voice on the highest Court.

At a time when the rights of LGBTQ+ people are at stake across the country, it’s more important than ever to have a #JusticeForAll on the Supreme Court. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is that person.

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