As Texas House legislators prepared to discuss a senate bill that would forbid gender-affirming care for kids, the issue of transgender rights caused fresh controversy at the Texas Capitol on Monday. Senate Bill 14 would expressly prohibit trans adolescents from receiving hormone therapy and puberty blockers, which medical organizations claim are essential for their mental health, to transition, according to the Texas Tribune.
These therapies would need to be “weaned off” of trans children in a “medically appropriate” way if they already receive them for gender-affirming purposes. Although these are rarely performed on children, the bill would also outlaw surgeries related to the transition. The Senate has already approved a version of the plan, and according to the Tribune, it has the support of the majority of state representatives, all of whom are Republicans.
The original plan was altered due to demonstrations and a parliamentary decision, and Capitol correspondent Monica Madden covered the surprise development as it happened. Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso), trying to stop Senate Bill 14 with a procedural maneuver, raised a point of order as the discussion began.
Protesters in the gallery began chanting against the legislation as MPs were deliberating the proposal. This is unusual, but Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan requested that the Sergeant at Arms vacate the House gallery. KXAN observed some demonstrators being ejected from the hallway outside the House chamber. The Texas Department of Public Safety ultimately removed the demonstrators from the Capitol.
Tomorrow I’ll be covering the first big discussing over transgender rights on the floor of the Texas House.
— Lauren McGaughy 🌟 (@lmcgaughy) May 1, 2023
People on both sides are still preparing for this discussion on a different day, even though the parliamentary maneuver successfully delayed the bill. “In the Texas House, rules matter. Today’s outbursts in the gallery were disrespectful and persisted even after I clarified that I would not put up with them. Divergent viewpoints will always exist, but we will respectfully discuss those differences in our chamber.