Vote on gender-affirming care ban bill delayed again.
Controversy has been brewing over Senate Bill 14, which has seen delays and disruptions, much to the frustration of the opposing sides. The bill proposes a complete ban on all gender-transitioning care for minors, including hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and social and emotional therapies. Despite the delays thus far, lawmakers in Austin have again moved to table the bill vote until next week.
The first hiccups in the SB 14 saga occurred on Tuesday when the bill was referred back to the committee for corrections. Three separate point-of-orders were subsequently called on Friday, which delayed the bill’s second reading. For opponents of the bill, this delay constitutes a small victory. Bob Green, a supporter of the legislation, commented that “it’s just simply a delay tactic. Hopefully this will not require a special session to get through.”
Many individuals have been attending both Tuesday and Friday’s hearings. Callie Butcher, a trans woman and LGBTQ civil rights attorney, traveled from Dallas to be there. Butcher expressed her views on the matter, stating that “I couldn’t sit quietly at home, that would cause me more stress than being here.”
Last Tuesday’s session led to two arrests made by DPS troopers, with the anticipation of more expected during Friday’s session. On Friday, however, the fireworks were primarily procedural as the House kicked SB 14 back to the committee again.
Both sides of the debate had supporters in the House chambers on Friday, some wearing blue shirts reading “Protect Trans Kids,” and the others wearing red shirts reading “Save Texas Kids.” With passions running high, Bob Green went so far as to state “any parent who would permit that is guilty of child abuse in my mind.” In contrast, Butcher asserted that the abuse is not allowing age-appropriate care for transitioning minors, further accusing the bill of being rooted in transgender discrimination, stating that “the true premise behind this bill is that transgender people should not exist.”
Senate Bill 14 is expected to have a second reading next week. If approved, the bill will receive a third reading and vote before it goes to the Governor. For now, however, both sides must prepare themselves for further delays and disruptions as this controversial bill continues to resonate with opposing views on the matter.