A gathering of LGBTQ advocates broke into the Texas State Capitol on Tuesday to express their disagreement with Senate Bill 14. This proposed legislation aims to prevent doctors from offering gender-altering treatments to minors, which activists view as a form of “gender mutilation.” Despite the bill’s intention to safeguard vulnerable children from irreversible medical interventions like hormone therapy, the protesters see it as a barrier to accessing necessary care. The bill prohibits the use of public funds for such procedures or treatments for specific groups of children.
Amidst a legislative session in which Republicans are introducing a series of bills that could have significant repercussions for the queer community, the most eventful day to date took place. The day commenced with LGBTQ Texans, accompanied by their relatives and supporters, singing outside the House chamber. As the day wore on, it became increasingly chaotic, resulting in conflicts with law enforcement and the evacuation of numerous protesters from the building after some individuals began chanting during legislative proceedings.
Initially, Speaker Dade Phelan cautioned that if disruptions persisted, he would have the House gallery cleared, and he promptly followed through on his warning. Eventually, state police restrained and detained two individuals.
Richie was one of the numerous LGBTQ advocates who traveled to the Capitol to demonstrate their opposition to Senate Bill 14. The legislation would prevent transgender children from receiving hormone therapy and puberty blockers, which medical professionals assert are essential for a demographic already experiencing greater rates of depression and suicide than their cisgender counterparts. The bill mandates that trans children who are currently receiving these treatments should gradually stop taking them. Although transition-related surgeries for minors are exceedingly rare, the bill would also prohibit them.
On Tuesday, SB 14 experienced limited advancement. Democrats were able to postpone the scheduled vote on the bill on a technicality. However, Republican leaders rapidly pledged to reintroduce the legislation later in the week, and it is now scheduled to return to the House floor on Friday.
When the House began deliberating on the bill on Tuesday afternoon, Democratic State Representative Mary González of Clint requested a point of order, a legislative strategy intended to nullify the bill on a technicality. The bill analysis cited a study from the “American College of Pediatrics,” instead of the actual organization, the “American College of Pediatricians.”
As House leaders evaluated whether this mistake violated House rules and should impede a vote, some LGBTQ advocates and allies in the gallery above began chanting “One, two, three, four, trans folks deserve more” and unfurled banners in support of trans children.
BREAKING: LGBTQ insurrectionist taken out in Texas Capitol after protesting ban on gender affirming care for minors.— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) May 2, 2023
This is how all pedophiles should be treated.pic.twitter.com/W0qfxTMrwb
BREAKING: LGBT activists have occupied another state capitol, this time in Texas, to protest a bill to ban pediatric gender mutilations— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 2, 2023
DPS officers took down and handcuffed a few demonstrators after they were removed from the House Gallery. They were escorted out of the Texas Capitol. I was asked to leave too, but I identified as press. @SpectrumNews1TX @TXCapTonight pic.twitter.com/kzeJW9dKd6— Charlotte Scott (@reportsbychar) May 2, 2023