These bills criminalize the age-appropriate, evidence-based, private, life-saving care that is thoughtfully crafted in consultation with teams of medical healthcare experts, parents/guardians, and transgender youth.
HB 68 (Toth) – This bill would add affirming, life-saving transition-related health care, performed by medical or mental health professionals, to the statutorial definition of “child abuse,” including related penalties.
These bills would require K-12 youth to participate in sports according to the gender on their birth certificate, essentially banning transgender youth from participating in line with their gender identity and barring them from the friendship, education, teamwork, and health benefits of playing a sport.
Categorical, across-the-board bans to exclude already-vulnerable children from important childhood activities are unscientific and cruel, and are a direct repackaging of the 2017 bathroom bills that failed in their attempts to demonize transgender people. These bans put vulnerable kids at risk of further harassment, exclusion, and bullying, and block them from the important health, social, and emotional benefits that youth sports is meant to offer to all children.
HB 1458 (Swanson) – 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.
These bills undermine local nondiscrimination ordinances that protect LGBTQ Texans from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, 70% of Texans support nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community.
HB 610 (Swanson) – 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.
Governor Abbott used similar reasoning behind a recent (now corrected) decision by the Behavioral Health Executive Council of Texas to remove nondiscrimination protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability in the Social Worker’s Code of Conduct.
These bills provide exemptions from generally applied laws for those who have “sincerely held religious beliefs” or “moral objections,” allowing individuals to pick and choose which laws to follow. Religious exemption bills often take the form of allowing individuals to refuse service to LGBTQ+ individuals.
HB 1424 (Oliverson) – 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.
SB 247 (Perry) – 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.
HB 73 (Hinojosa) – This bill would limit the legal defense known as gay/trans panic. This legal defense, which claims that a person’s sexual orientation or gender expression can trigger violence against another person, was debunked by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973.
HB 1149 (J. Johnson)