It’s time for our community to act. This coming Monday and Wednesday, the Texas legislature will hear 4 anti-LGBTQ+ bills; bills that restrict healthcare for transgender youth, empower healthcare providers to turn away anyone who “violates” their “moral, ethical or religious beliefs,” and further deepen the stigma for those living with HIV. To prepare, we invite every Equality Texan to take part in our Weekend of Action.
There are so many ways to get involved to defeat these bills and have your voice heard. Every action truly makes a difference. In an op-ed about why he vetoed his party’s ban against best practice medical care for trans youth, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said “I acted on my convictions and based on what I learned in discussions with families, health-care professionals, faith leaders and transgender individuals…I came to the conclusion that this is a time to show compassion and to resist the temptation to severely restrict private family health-care decisions.”
The Arkansas legislature overrode the Governor’s veto and the bills in Arkansas became law. That’s why it’s so important for us to share our stories before these bills get to the Governor’s desk. Bill hearings are the only part of the legislative process where public testimony is collected for the official record. This is our greatest chance to show everyone watching what these bills will actually do to our kids, our friends, our neighbors, and our community.
As part of our Weekend of Action, we’ll be highlighting specific actions to take each day leading up to the hearings on Monday.
All of these actions are helpful, and we ask folks to do as many as you have capacity for.
The bills next week target our community in a very tangible, visceral way. SB 1646 (Perry) and HB 1399 (Krause) ban or limit best-practice, life-saving healthcare for transgender youth. HB 1424 (Oliverson) allows healthcare professionals and their staff to deny life-saving medical treatment. With their focus on limiting or denying healthcare these bills are explicit about their disregard for LGBTQ+ lives.
These bills will not erase us — LGBTQ+ Texans exist and will continue to live full robust lives in the state they call home. But we need to let lawmakers know that this legislation is far more than just words on a page. Share your story now and remind legislators, human to human, what it feels like to fight against bills that devalue our community’s lives.