SECOND TEXAS SPECIAL SESSION WILL CONTINUE BASELESS ATTACKS ON TRANSGENDER KIDS
Anti-transgender bills have failed so far, but continued threat leaves lasting impact on families
Contact: Angela Hale, 512-289-2995 or Kara Watkins-Chow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, the Texas Legislature’s 30-day special session ended, effectively killing SB 2 and SB 32 — anti-transgender sports bans that passed in the Senate, but stalled without a quorum of lawmakers in the House. A second special session is set to begin tomorrow, Saturday August 7th, at noon Central Time, and once again, Governor Abbott has placed the isolation and targeting of transgender youth on his agenda. Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, released the following statement:
“In this year’s first special session, the Texas Legislature and anti-LGBTQ+ state leaders doubled down on attacking transgender children with a slate of harmful, misinformed bills. There is no doubt that 2021 is already the most extreme year on record for LGBTQ+ Texans, with more to come. LGBTQ+ Texans have been subjected to more than 50 cruel attacks on our personhood between regular session bills, special session bills and amendments. This coordinated attack on our community — particularly children — is unconscionable. Even though these bills have not yet passed into law, the cruel rhetoric used by their supporters has already taken a toll on the well-being of transgender Texans. Just introducing anti-transgender bills and platforming dangerous rhetoric about transgender kids sends a message that Texas is not a safe place for LGBTQ+ people. When the new special session starts tomorrow, Governor Abbott has decided that trans youth and their families should continue to struggle and face fear and harm. At the same time, he is is threatening to take executive action to strip away transgender kids’ access to lifesaving health care — a move that we know places children firmly in harm’s way.
“I’ve spoken with families whose children are suffering from the impacts of lawmakers’ attacks, everything from facing harassment in school to experiencing severe emotional distress and self-harming behaviors. Our children deserve to feel safe in their communities, and have the opportunity to play games with their friends and grow up healthy. We won’t stop fighting to protect our children, but we shouldn’t have to fight in the first place. Transgender kids and their families don’t deserve to be political collateral, and don’t deserve to live under the constant threat of whether the state will target them yet again. It’s time for Texas to reject this outdated, harmful agenda and focus on improving health, safety and education opportunities for all children in 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.