FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS RELEASE STATEMENT ON SENATE CHAMBER PASSAGE OF SB2 AND SB32
Angela Hale, Equality Texas | 512.289.2995 | firstname.lastname@example.org
July 14, 2021 – AUSTIN, TEXAS – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, today released a statement on Senate Chamber passage of SB2 and SB32.
“The Texas Legislature and state leaders launched an unprecedented attack on the LGBTQ+ community during the regular legislative session by filing more than 30 anti-LGBTQ+ bills. During the first special session of the legislature, they filed an additional 16 anti-trans bills targeting innocent Texas children despite unequivocal evidence of documented harm to our children caused by political leaders debating whether trans kids should be treated like every other child in this state,” said Ricardo Martinez, Chief Executive Officer, Equality Texas.
During the Senate hearing, the committee brought in so-called experts from other states, including Idaho and Nebraska, and relied on old stories from Connecticut to defend the purpose of these bills. Even when directly challenged, legislators pushing these bills could not cite a single example or produce a shred of evidence as to why this discriminatory legislation is necessary in Texas. Legislators should leave trans children and their families alone and stay out of their private lives.
During Monday’s hearing, parents courageously told Senators about the impact anti-trans bills have had on their kids — kids who have lost significant weight due to anxiety and worry about these bills and who are self-harming because we are debating their existence. Calls from Texas to the crisis hotline Transgender Lifeline increased 71.6% in May alone, at the peak of the debate on similar bills. Altogether, LGBTQ+ Texans have experienced close to 50 attempts on our personhood in 2021 through the most extreme regular session in recent memory and this special session.
In addition, our community has had to live through the tragic loss of Aidelen Evans, Tiffany Thomas and Iris Santos — all transgender Texans who have senselessly lost their lives to violence in 2021. Texas is a leading state in an actual emergency: the murders of Black and Brown transgender women.
Fearmongering about the lives of trans/LGB people fuels bias and discrimination. The political climate has only increased these risks. Parents of trans kids have begun making plans to leave Texas, while transgender adults fear for their safety and well-being. These nearly 50 attempts at erasing and persecuting our community, the inaction around the crisis impacting Black and Brown trans women, and continued efforts to limit LGBTQ+ Texans individual liberties, will go down as one of the cruelest moments in our history. Transgender children participating in sports is not a national emergency; these attacks on trans kids and the ongoing trauma to the trans community certainly are. That is unconscionable.
Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.