Republicans Relentlessly Attack Kids & Trans Texans, With Six Appalling Bills That Will Gut Healthcare and Put Mental Health At Risk

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Republicans are continuing their barrage of attacks on trans Texans, including kids, as Senate Republicans voted last night to approve the cruel, anti-child Senate Bill 29.

Senate Bill 29 would ban trans kids from playing sports on teams that match their gender identity — cutting kids out from the myriad benefits of group sports, and opening the door to invasive privacy violations. Democrats, advocates, educators, mental health professionals, and parents have testified on the extreme harm this bill will do, and athletics organizations are also joining the fight. Earlier this week, the NCAA joined the chorus, announcing it will not hold events in any state that discriminates against trans student-athletes.

Unfortunately, this cruel bill is not the only attack trans Texans are facing from Texas Republicans. On Tuesday, the Senate State Affairs Committee held a hearing on SB 1646, a horrifying bill that would add transition-related care to the state’s definition of child abuse. SB 1646 targets parents, guardians, and anyone involved in administering care — making it harder for trans kids to get healthcare. Meanwhile, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the House Public Health Committee heard HB 1399, which would target the liability insurance of medical professionals who provide transition-related care, and HB 1424, which would allow medical professionals to object to any medical procedure that violates their “ethical, moral, or religious beliefs” — meaning that LBGTQ+ Texans could be outright refused healthcare on the basis of their identity. HB 369, an anti-LGBTQ healthcare bill stigmatizing people with HIV, also had a hearing in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee this week.

While Republicans continue to attack the rights of Texans, a vast coalition of organizations and allies is saying: enough is enough. The NCAA’s announcement is the latest example of high-profile organizations using their clout to show Republicans that their attacks on Texans’ rights will not be tolerated. The move puts events like March Madness games — and the massive local revenue that comes with them — on the line if Republicans continue to attack trans Texans. Texas Democrats are grateful for these voices on the side of democracy, and commend the NCAA for its strong stance in defense of human rights.

Former State Representative and First Openly Gay State Legislator in Texas Glen Maxey issued the following statement:

“Republicans’ barrage of attacks on trans kids is cruel, senseless, and unconscionable. Every child deserves to get the healthcare they need. Every child deserves to be able to play and participate with their friends. Republicans are digging in their heels on the wrong side of history, and it’s no surprise that everyone from advocates to athletics organizations is speaking out against these attacks.

“Let me be clear: Texas Republicans are putting kids in danger. These bills will make it harder for kids to get healthcare, put kids through horrifying privacy violations, and send kids a message that they aren’t safe in our communities. To trans kids across Texas: you are seen, you are loved, you belong here, and we are going to keep fighting for you. To Republicans promoting these disgusting bills: you should be ashamed to be spending your time in office attacking children. Enough is enough.”