Texas just became the latest state in America to pass a law that many in the GOP characterize as protecting children by banning forms of “trans” medical intervention for children, such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers. The law also provides that those children already on such pharmaceuticals must be “weaned off” them and completely bans transition-related surgeries for minors. The law will take effect on September 1st.
The bill doing so was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on Friday, June 2nd. In passing the law, Texas joins 17 other states in restricting what the left generally calls “gender-affirming care” for minors in some way, the Texas Tribune reported. Predictably, pro-trans groups attacked the law and conservatives praised it.
For example, Emmett Schelling, the executive director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, said, that the bill was meant to be cruel and that it was intentionally signed at the beginning of June, Pride month, while also vowing that the bill wouldn’t cow transgender individuals. Schelling said: “Cruelty has always been the point. It’s not shocking that this governor would sign SB14 right at the beginning of Pride [Month]; however this will not stop trans people from continuing to exist with authenticity — as we always have.”
The ACLU joined in the chorus of voices attacking the bill, with ACLU policy and advocacy strategist Ash Hall saying, “Transgender people have always been here and will always be here. Our trans youth deserve a world where they can shine alongside their peers, and we will keep advocating for that world in and out of the courts.”
On the other hand, conservatives such as Texas State Representative Tom Oliverson, a doctor, cheered the bill. State Rep. Oliverson said, “Children in Texas are officially protected from harmful, experimental medical and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria. Thank you for signing SB14 @GovAbbott. We knew there would be court challenges. SB14 was written with that in mind and will prevail. #txlege”
Children in Texas are officially protected from harmful, experimental medical and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria. Thank you for signing SB14 @GovAbbott. We knew there would be court challenges. SB14 was written with that in mind and will prevail. #txlege https://t.co/OukJb5dCqX
— Tom Oliverson, M.D. (@TomOliverson) June 3, 2023
Texas also passed SB 15, which required “public institution of higher education students who compete in intercollegiate athletic competitions to compete based on biological sex.” That bill prohibited, for example, “a male student to compete on the team in mixed-sex intercollegiate athletic competition sponsored or authorized by the institution in a position that is designated by rule or procedure for female students.” That bill defined biological sex as the sex recorded on either the official birth certificate or, if not available, “another government record that accurately states the student’s biological sex.”
It remains to be seen if SB 14 will face serious legal roadblocks or if the legal actions that the ACLU and others are promising will be brushed aside and the bill treated as a valid exercise of the state’s police powers.
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