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Lege Week 8 Wrap-up: URGENT — Take action to protect trans kids in Texas!
Posted on March 6, 2021 at 8:50 am

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has made banning trans kids from sports one of his legislative priorities. Texas trans kids don’t deserve to be targeted with a mean-spirited bill that only affirms the discriminatory athletic policy that already exists in Texas. Unfortunately, in addition to SB 29 of Patrick’s priority bill list, we are particularly concerned with the House companion bill HB 1458. And we have reason to be worried. Similar bills have been filed in more than two dozen states, and just this week Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina joined North Dakota and South Dakota in advancing their bills.

Earlier this week Representative Swanson sent out a letter to House members asking them to co-sponsor this bill, rife with misinformation about “defend[ing] the equality achieved by women.” This is not what the bill does. This bill opens the door to “bathroom bill”-like invasive physical exams and puts a target on the back of transgender youth and every girl who plays sports. Any child can be accused of not belonging and all accused children will be forced to prove their case.

We must ensure that each and every Representative understands the threat this bill poses to all of us. 

Please send an email to your representative now to let them know that our most vulnerable youth should be protected from discrimination, not used a political pawns for a solution in search of a problem.

To better understand what’s at stake and learn how to talk to your legislator about supporting and affirming trans kids in and out of the classroom, join us Monday for an informative webinar. We know these bills will continue to move during the session and we need as many allies as possible ready to offer testimony.

Issue Briefing: Transgender Sports Bans

March 8, 2021 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The Texas Legislature is underway and we’ve already seen a priority placed on anti-LGBTQ+ bills. This is an issue briefing on Transgender Sports Ban legislation. Our policy experts will give you an update on the issue and then we will pivot to providing talking points and working together to submit virtual testimony. You can shape the narrative on discriminatory legislation and show that Texans are overwhelmingly opposed to these bills!

 

Bill Movement 

HB 1458 (Swanson, R-Spring) This bill bans trans youth (K-12 and collegiate) from participating in sports, based on the undefined term, “biological sex.” It dangerously leaves the door open for anyone — a coach, fan, or player — to accuse and humiliate any girl of not belonging. The bills could lead to accused children being forced to undergo invasive examinations and other privacy-violating tests. This week, it was referred to the committee on State Affairs.

HB 610 (Swanson, R-Spring) This bill would allow any individual to bring suit against any local law that establishes regulations or requirements for licensed professionals that go beyond state law. Because Texas does not have statewide nondiscrimination protections, all local nondiscrimination ordinances establish requirements beyond state law, and would be a target. This week, it was referred to the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee.

SB 247 (Perry, R-Lubbock) This bill would allow anyone licensed under the state bar of Texas to refuse service without losing their license to anyone, including the LGBTQ+ community, if that individual violates a “sincerely held religious belief” of the licensee. This week, it was referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee and has been scheduled for a hearing Monday, March 8 at 9:00 AM.

HB 1399 (Krause, R-Fort Worth) This bill would discourage doctors from providing best practice transition care by prohibiting professional liability insurance from covering transition related care. This week, it was referred to the House Public Health Committee.

HB 1424 (Oliverson, R-Houston) This bill would allow any medical professional to object to any medical procedure that violates their “ethical, moral, or religious beliefs” even if the procedure in question is live-saving care. This week, it was referred to the House Public Health Committee.

HB 1402 (A. Johnson, D-Houston) The James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act authorizes enhanced penalties for violent crimes motivated by bias against the victim’s race, religion, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age, or national origin. The law should be updated to include gender identity and expression. According to a report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, anti-LGBTQ violence, particularly against transgender women of color, is on the rise. Hate-related homicides spiked 86% in 2017 and Texas had more deaths than 48 other states. On Friday, it was referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence committee.

 

Don’t forget that between our weekly updates, you can follow the movement of bills we are watching on our Legislative Bill Tracker.