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Special Session Lege Week 1 Wrap-up: Nearly 50 anti-LGBTQ+ bill have been filed in Texas in 2021
Posted on July 10, 2021 at 1:07 pm

The Texas legislature gaveled back in for a special session Thursday and we’re already moving at full speed. Last Wednesday, Governor Abbott released his agenda for the special session and granted Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s wish: trans youth will once again be in the crosshairs. The Governor has called for dangerous legislation ostracizing transgender youth by banning them from sports that align with their gender identity.

Although legislators can file bills on any topic, in a special session only subjects that the Governor places on his agenda can be seriously considered. Though we’ve only had a few full days of the special session, Dan Patrick wasted no time referring two new versions of the transgender sports ban, SB 2 (Perry) and SB 32 (Perry) to the Senate Health and Human Services committee. The Chair, Senator Lois Kolkhorst, has already set both bills for a hearing this Monday, July 12. It’s no wonder these anti-transgender bills were fast-tracked, as Senator Kolkhorst is infamous for authoring the “bathroom bill” of 2017.

Submit written testimony for Monday’s hearing and demand that legislators to stop prioritizing bills that target transgender children.

Overall there are about 11 items on the Governor’s agenda including weighty complex issues like voter suppression, the border, and property tax reform. That’s a lot to cover in the 30 days allotted for special sessions. While the Senate rushes to fast-track bills, we still don’t know which of the 11 issues will get traction and priority in the House.

In total, nearly 50 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been filed in Texas this year.

What we do know:

  • Only issues on the Governor’s call can be seriously considered, although the Governor can add items at any time.
  • The special session can only last 30 days.
  • The amount of public notice that must be given before key legislative actions is drastically reduced (for example, hearings only must have 24 hours notice as opposed to five days).
  • 15 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been filed so far in the special session. Only the 7 sports ban bills are part of the Governor’s call.
  • 2 pro-LGBTQ+ bills have been filed. Though these aren’t on the Governor’s call, they signal support for our community from our allies in the legislature.

Equality Texas is laser focused on doing everything we can at the Capitol to defeat the immediate threats SB 2 and SB 32 and keeping our transgender community safe.

What you can do to help:

Together, we can put a stop to this relentless and unprecedented attack on our community. We know this year has been challenging for so many reasons, but we must remain vigilant and ready to mobilize in a moment’s notice. Thank you to everyone who continues to show up to hold lawmakers accountable to do right by our kids.