In the #txlege, nothing is truly “dead” until Sine Die. We saw that clearly this week.
This past Tuesday SB 29 (Perry), the bill that would ban transgender youth from participating in sports, failed on a vote by the House Public Education committee. At 9:30 this morning the Chair of that committee, Representative Harold Dutton (D-Houston), moved to “reconsider” the vote as retaliation for an unrelated bill he authored that died on the House floor last night.
Equality Texas CEO, Ricardo Martinez and other advocates rushed to the Capitol and caught Chairman Dutton on video blatantly admitting that SB 29 would hurt kids but that “the bill that was killed last night affected far more children than [SB 29] ever will.” He then voted in favor of the SB 29 sports ban along with the Republicans on the committee, moving the bill one step closer to becoming law and proving that he’s willing to put transgender kids in danger in exchange for making a political point on an already-dead bill. See the full video of Chairman Dutton’s remarks here.
The vote was 8-5. That means that eight members of the House Public Education committee voted for a bill that would force teachers to further marginalize their transgender students. Others who voted for the bill included longtime public education advocate Representative Dan Huberty and anti-bullying champion Representative Steve Allison, despite the dangerous climate that it creates for transgender kids in school.
The re-vote on SB 29 this morning is a chilling reminder that no bill or issue is dead until the legislature gavels out. Bills can be reconsidered, turned into amendments on the floor, or “traded” for other priorities — or political points.
As of this Mother’s Day weekend, there are still eight anti-LGBTQ+ bills moving through the legislative process, including bans on best-practice, life-saving medical care for transgender youth in HB 1399 (Krause) and SB 1646 (Perry).
Instead of celebrating this Mother’s Day with friends and chosen family, the Texas legislature is forcing families across the state to make the heartbreaking decision of whether or not to leave Texas if their kids are locked out of access to life-saving medical care or normal school activities. If these bills pass, we will lose our employees and coworkers, our neighbors, our teachers, and our transgender kids who cannot survive in a state that criminalizes their medical care and disregards their lives.
There are 24 days left of the Texas legislature. We need your voice for every single one of them until the legislature gavels out. Help up hold the line and protect trans youth.
After you’ve sent a message to the Calendars committee you can: