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Legislative Bill Tracker
Legislative Bill Tracker

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ANTI-LGBTQ+ Bills

Bans on best-practice affirming healthcare for transgender youth.

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. The language in these bills does not reflect current transition healthcare practices, further illustrating that legislators should not be inserting themselves into the doctor’s office. 

These bills include HB 68, HB 1399, HB 2693/SB 1311, HB 4014/SB 1646. A full breakdown of each bill is below.

HB 68 (Toth)Referred to the House Public Health Committee

HB 68 adds affirming, life-saving transition-related health care, performed by medical or mental health professionals, to the statutorial definition of “child abuse,” including related penalties. This bill primarily targets medical professionals.

HB 1399 (Krause)Referred to the House Public Health Committee | Hearing Wednesday 4/14, 8am

This bill discourages doctors from providing best practice transition care by prohibiting professional liability insurance from covering transition related care for minors.

HB 2693 (Toth)Referred to the House Public Health Committee

& SB 1311 (Hall) – Referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee | Hearing Monday 4/12, 9am

These bills prohibit a physician or other health care provider from performing affirming and life-saving transition-related care and would punish any doctor who did provide best practice transition care by revoking their license to practice. Additionally, the bills would prohibit professional liability insurance from covering transition related care for minors.

HB 4014 (Hefner) – Referred to the House Public Health Committee

& SB 1646 (Perry) Eligible to be debated on the Senate floor

These bills add the administering or supplying of life-saving transition-related health care, as directed by medical or mental health professionals, to the statutorial definition of “child abuse,” including related penalties. This bill targets anyone involved in transition-related care, including parents and guardians.

Bans on youth participation in sports that aligns with their gender identity.

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.

These bills include HB 1458, HB 3455, HB 4042, HB 4043, SB 29, SB 373. A full breakdown of each bill is included below. 

SB 29 (Perry)Placed on the Senate Calendar | Monday 4/12 

This bill bans trans youths’ access to sports by requiring K-12 youth to participate in UIL sports according to the gender on their birth certificate.

SB 373 (Perry)Referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee

This bill bans trans youths’ access to sports by requiring K-12 youth to participate in UIL sports according to the gender on their birth certificate.

HB 1458 (Swanson)Referred to the House State Affairs Committee

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.

HB 3455 (White) – This bill prohibits schools from organizing certain co-ed (mixed gender) sports and bans trans youth (K-12 and collegiate) from participating in sports by requiring them to participate according to the gender on their birth certificate. The bill dangerously leaves the door open for anyone — a coach, fan, or player — to accuse and humiliate any kid of not belonging. 

HB 4042 (Hefner)Referred to the House Public Education Committee | Hearing Monday 4/19, 8am

This bill bans trans youths’ access to sports by requiring K-12 youth to participate in UIL sports according to the gender on their birth certificate. 

HB 4043 (Hefner)Referred to the House Public Education Committee

This bill bans trans youths’ access to sports by requiring K-12 youth to participate in UIL sports according to the gender on their birth certificate. It also requires public university systems to create a report on how a similar ban may affect sports participation in the university.

State preemption of local nondiscrimination ordinances.

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)Referred to the House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee

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.

HB 70 (Swanson)Referred to the House State Affairs Committee

HB 70 would require legislative oversight of agency rules. Any new rule would be subject to legislative scrutiny and might be suspended immediately. State agencies are composed of experts in their field and have the opportunity to make change in line with their industry. For example, Florida’s state agency that enforces civil rights law recently affirmed that discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity was illegal, in line with the recent Bostock U.S. Supreme Court decision. HB 70 would increase barriers to any agency in Texas which might want to do the same.

HB 3955 (Toth) Referred to the House State Affairs Committee

HB 4522 (Swanson)Referred to the House State Affairs Committee

& SB 1206 (Hall)

These bills prohibit any state official or branch of state government from enforcing certain federal executive orders. Executive orders are an important policy making tool by the U.S. executive branch (including the president). Executive orders can play a critical role in the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality and bills like this could slow down the policy making process significantly.

Other bills in this category include HJR 33 (Swanson) Referred to the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee

HJR 6 (Swanson) Referred to the House State Affairs Committee

Religious exemption bills.

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) Referred to the House Public Health Committee | Hearing Wednesday 4/14, 8am

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.

HB 3083 (Krause) – This bill would prohibit most penalties for  pharmacies or pharmacists, including terminating licensure, accreditation, grants, or contracts, for refusing service due to a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.”

SB 247 (Perry)Referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee | Hearing Monday 3/8, 9am —Reported favorably without amendments

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.

SB 738 (Birdwell)Referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee

This bill would allow anyone authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony to refuse to marry anyone based on their “sincerely held religious belief.”

Gender marker.

SB 1148 (Perry) Referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee

This bill prohibits any minor from amending their birth certificate to match their gender identity. Not having up to date identification makes it difficult to navigate day to day situations where one needs to show an ID, like getting a driver’s license or getting a job.

HIV criminalization bills.

HB 369 (Craddick)Referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee | Hearing Monday 4/12, 1pm or upon House adjournment

HB 369 would deepen the stigma associated with HIV by criminalizing it, in this case adding increased penalties to crimes where a defendant was “afflicted with a communicable disease,” including HIV. Laws criminalizing HIV often keep people from getting tested for the virus and, in turn, accessing treatment. These laws do not account for undetectable viral load and have been shown to disproportionally impact transgender people and people of color.

 

PRO LGBTQ+ BILLS

Eliminating “Gay Panic” and “Trans Panic” as a legal defense

HB 73 (Hinojosa) Referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee | Hearing Monday 3/15, 2pm

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.

Updating the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act to include crimes based on a victim’s gender identity

HB 1402 (A. Johnson)Referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee | Hearing Monday 3/15, 2pm

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.

Updating adolescent relationship Romeo/Juliet laws to include LGBTQ couples

HB 198 (M. Gonzalez) Referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee

HB 1107 (Dominguez)Referred to the House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee

Rather than criminalize sexual behavior between teenagers as statutory rape, Texas law includes an affirmative defense if the sexual contact is consensual and the parties are over the age of fourteen and within three years of the same age. This so-called “Romeo & Juliet defense” is a common-sense acknowledgement that adolescents sometimes engage in sexual conduct that adults may not approve of, but shouldn’t be marked as felons for the rest of their lives. 

However, this affirmative defense is only available to opposite-sex couples. A teenager dating someone of the same sex doesn’t get the same treatment, creating the risk that a young person could be sent to prison and forced to register as a sex offender for consensual behavior between sweethearts. It’s time to update the Romeo & Juliet defense to apply to all teens on an equal basis.

Facilitating gender marker changes on official documents

HB 338 (Rosenthal) Referred to the House Public Health Committee

SB 210 (Eckhardt)Referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee

Texas law authorizes people to legally change their name and gender marker on official documents like a driver license or state ID. But the process is not clearly laid out in statute, resulting in a patchwork of different requirements across the state. Transgender Texans who are unable to update their identification documents are excluded from basic activities that are necessary to function in society. There should be a simple, standardized method for updating official documentation so that all 

Texans, including transgender Texans, have access to the documents they need to apply for a job, register for school, rent an apartment, board an airplane, or write a check for groceries.

Banning the harmful practice of “conversion therapy”

HB 560 (Israel), HB 407 (Hernandez) Referred to the House Public Health Committee

SB 97 (Menéndez) Referred to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee

The American Psychological Association warns that so-called “conversion therapy” is scientifically discredited and dangerous. Experts agree that sexual orientation and gender identity are immutable and that conversion therapy is ineffective at changing them. Because the therapy is premised on negative and outdated prejudices against LGBTQ people, those who undergo it may suffer lasting harms. Conversion therapy is dangerous at any age, but children are particularly vulnerable. Texas has a responsibility to regulate the conduct of licensed therapists to ensure that no child is subjected to this abusive practice.

Ensuring that health benefits plans cover HIV and AIDS

HB 493 (Wu) Referred to the House Insurance Committee

This bill requires health insurance plans to cover costs related to HIV and AIDS testing and disallows health insurance providers from denying coverage for HIV and AIDS testing. Any standard health benefit plan must cover HIV and AIDS testing. Bills like this help decrease the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS and encourage more individuals to get tested. HIV and AIDS disproportionately harm communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community, and health insurance providers must be required to cover the needs of these communities in order to combat this.

Banning nonconsensual surgeries on intersex minors

HB 726 (Hernandez)Referred to the House Public Health Committee

This bill would prevent the authorization of medical procedures on minors related to intersex traits unless the minor in question consents. The minor can only provide consent if their physician has informed the minor and the child’s caregiver of all of the information needed for informed consent. Intersex children are often subjected to medical procedures that they have no say over and a bill like this could help put decisions over their own bodies back in their hands.

Cleaning up state statutes to include LGBTQ families

SB 129 (N. Johnson)Referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee

HB 1037 (Beckley)Referred to the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee

HJR 58 (Beckley)Referred to the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee

In the Supreme Court cases of Windsor and Obergefell, the highest court of our nation affirmed that the fundamental right to marry was guaranteed to same-sex couples under the U.S. Constitution. Marriage equality has made it easier for couples in Texas to access health insurance for family members, buy property, manage taxes, provide for their children, and plan for old age. But Texas law retains its unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage and the Texas Family Code fails to address LGBTQ families at all. 

As a result, family courts struggle to apply laws regarding marriage, parenting, adoption, and divorce to LGBTQ Texans in the same manner as for other families. LGBTQ adults cannot count on the stability that comes from having the law uniformly and predictably applied. And the children of LGBTQ parents aren’t assured of the legal right to the continued love and support of both their parents in the event of divorce.

Repealing “no promo homo” policies that require educators to teach that “homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle”

HB 1038 (Beckley)Referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee | Hearing Monday 3/29, 1pm or upon House adjournment

Texas law requires the Department of State Health Services to include falsehoods in HIV educational materials for young people: DSHS must state “homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense under Section 21.06, Penal Code.” More than a decade after the Supreme Court struck down the state’s sodomy law as unconstitutional, it’s long past time to remove such outdated, stigmatizing characterizations of same-sex relationships from Texas law and free DSHS to devise evidence-based programs to protect Texas youth.

Removing religious exemptions from Texas adoption and foster care agencies

HB 1149 (J. Johnson) – Referred to the House Human Services Committee

These bills reverse provisions in Texas which state that a child welfare services provider may not be required to provide any service that conflicts with the provider’s religious beliefs. This has allowed adoption and foster care agencies to deny LGBTQ+ parents from fostering and adopting children. These exemptions exclude loving and capable parents from taking care of children. A bill like HB 1149 eliminates the dehumanizing and pointless exclusions of the LGBTQ+ community from parenthood.