Texas GOP lawmakers are proposing a ban that would make it illegal for minors to receive gender transition-related health care. The proposals are in response to a controversial case involving a trans child’s divorced parents.
Republican Texas Rep. Matt Krause says he plans to introduce a bill to “prohibit the use of puberty blockers in these situations for children under 18” in the next legislative session. Following his announcement, lawmakers in Georgia and Kentucky proposed similar bills.
But trans health experts have widely criticized the proposals. They point out that gender transition for prepubescent minors never involves puberty blockers or surgeries. Instead, it focuses on social transition — changes of name, dress, and pronouns.
Treatments such as puberty blockers don’t come into play until trans youth are going through puberty. Puberty can cause severe dysphoria and trauma in trans and gender-expansive youth.
It would not be “hyperbole to say each of these bills would carry a body count,” says Gillian Branstetter, spokesperson for the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“They would criminalize health care saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of transgender adolescents across the nation,” Branstetter told NBC OUT. “Such an extreme rejection of the scientific consensus would not only destroy lives; it would end lives.”
Rep. Krause’s anti-trans bill would be just one of dozens of discriminatory bills filed in Texas in recent years. To fight these bills, the election of LGBTQ+ and ally politicians to the state’s legislature is incredibly important. Earlier this year, the newly created LGBTQ Caucus managed to defeat 22 out of 23 anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed in the 2019 Texas legislative session.
There are several seats in Texas’s House of Representatives up for election on November 5th. While Rep. Krause’s seat is not one of them, LGBTQ+ advocates only need nine seats in the Texas House to secure a pro-equality majority.
One of those seats will hopefully go to Eliz Markowitz, an openly gay candidate who is running in District 28.
Her election certainly seems within reach. Last year, a record number of LGBTQ candidates ran in Texas, and the number of LGBTQ lawmakers doubled.