FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Angela Hale, Equality Texas, 512.289.2995 firstname.lastname@example.org
Equality Texas and the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) Release Statement from CEO Ricardo Martinez and Executive Director, Emmett Schelling on Representative Harold Dutton’s Decision to Revive SB 29 – A Bill That Categorically Bans Transgender Students from Sports Participation.
Austin, Texas – May 7, 2021 – Today, Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ Texans and the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), the largest statewide, trans-led, trans-focused organization in the state of Texas, released a statement on the revival of SB 29 and its advancement out of the Public Education Committee.
“This morning, Rep. Harold Dutton said from the dais that he knows SB 29 will hurt kids. He further stated that he brought this bill up and voted for it in retribution against his colleagues Dr. Alma Allen, and Mary Gonzalez, Chair of the LGBTQ Caucus, about his unrelated bill that was on the floor last night.
“This bill as substituted, with its six-year sunset, tells any transgender middle schooler that they have no chance at full participation in their school communities. We are already hearing from parents of transgender children who now realize their kids’ lives and dignity were used as a legislative bargaining chip.
“Chair Dutton is being celebrated today by the hard-right Empower Texans operatives who championed the 2017 bathroom bill, while we will have to deliver this news to scared families. We will be sure to let them know who made this happen.
“It is an incomprehensible betrayal to see a Democrat, who heard desperate testimony from children and parents, take this incredibly harmful action out of sheer vindictiveness toward his Democratic colleagues.
“Transgender children are not any politician’s pawns, and we will continue to fight for them,” said Ricardo Martinez.
Emmett Schelling, Executive Director of Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) stated, “The duties of public servants include the consideration of proposed laws, doing the necessary homework to ensure you understand the positive and negative implications of a law on your constituents, listening to experts on the subject matter at hand, and hearing from the public about their support or disapproval for a bill. Retaliatory policy making like we witnessed today is shameful, but disregarding the overwhelming opposition to a bill, understanding yet still choosing to ignore the harm that will occur to your constituents, and turning your phone off to escape accountability is inexcusable. Transgender Texans and our youth especially deserve so much better in their state representation.”
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.
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.