Texas Anti-Trans Law

Texas Anti-Trans Law

Texas has been at the forefront of anti-trans legislation in the United States, a legislative wave which is appearing in almost half of all states in the country to greater or lesser success. Here is a brief review of some of the key developments regarding anti-trans laws in Texas, a state where the traditional discourse fosters the success of such a campaign:

●     In May 2023, the Texas Senate passed a bill that would make it virtually impossible for a trans person of any age to access gender-affirming care in the state1.The bill proposes a novel way to block access to transition-related treatment, even for adults1.

●     In June 2023, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill that bars transgender kids from getting puberty blockers and hormone therapies
2. The law could face legal challenges before it takes effect on September 1, 2023

●     More than 500 anti-trans bills have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide in the last year, around 100 of which are in Texas alone1.Texas is responsible for more than 20% of the anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in state legislatures across the country3.

●     The flood of state-level efforts to restrict transgender rights is being fueled by many of the Christian and conservative groups that led the charge against Roe v. Wade4.

●     In April 2023, the Texas Senate voted to ban gender-affirming care for Texans under 18, and two anti-trans rights bills passed the Senate 4.One of the bills would require college athletes to compete on a team that aligns with sex assigned at birth, regardless of gender identity4.

●     More than two dozen other anti-trans bills were filed by Houston-area representatives, including several by Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands), Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring), Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) and Rep. Teresa Leo Wilson (R-Galveston) 4.

●     The Human Rights Campaign has condemned the passage of anti-trans bills in Texas and other states, calling them part of a dangerous effort by far-right political extremists and national anti-LGBTQ+ organizations to take aim at age-appropriate, life-saving, medically necessary care for transgender youth 3.

●     Texas is now one of over a dozen states that restrict transition-related care for trans minors 2.

In June 2022, the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) compile a list of all transgender Texans who had changed their gender on their driver's licenses or other state IDs within the past two years. The request was made in an email from an assistant attorney general to a DPS official. The email stated that the attorney general's office was "interested in obtaining data on the number of transgender individuals in Texas who have changed their gender on their driver's license or other state ID." The email also stated that the attorney general's office was "not asking for any personal identifying information, such as names or addresses."

DPS staff members complied with the request and compiled a list of 16,466 gender changes between June 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022. The list included the date of the gender change, the individual's name, and the individual's gender at birth. The list did not include any personal identifying information, such as addresses or phone numbers.

The behind-the-scenes effort by Paxton’s office to obtain data on how many Texans had changed their gender on their licenses came as the attorney general, Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican leaders in the state have been publicly marshaling resources against transgender Texans.

Abbott signed a bill last year banning transgender youths from participating in school sports that align with their gender identity at K-12 public schools, and earlier this year he ordered the state to investigate the provision of gender-affirming care as potential child abuse. State lawmakers have already proposed more than a dozen anti-LGBTQ measures ahead of the next legislative session in January, including criminalizing gender-affirming care and banning minors at drag shows.

Public records obtained by The Post do not indicate why the attorney general’s office sought the driver’s license information. But advocates for transgender Texans say Paxton could use the data to further restrict their right to transition, calling it a chilling effort to secretly harness personal information to persecute already vulnerable people.

Last year, lawmakers in the Republican-dominated legislature failed to pass a measure that would have criminalized gender reassignment care, which major medical associations have deemed science-based medical care. Afterward, Republican state Rep. Matt Krause — chair of the state House committee on general investigating — contacted Paxton, who issued a legal opinion that gender-affirming care for minors could be considered child abuse. Days later, Abbott directed the state child welfare agency to investigate parents facilitating such care for their children, sparking several investigations within days, according to public records.

After Abbott issued the directive, agency staff members were told not to communicate in writing about it, including emails and texts, according to public records.The rise of anti-trans laws in American states is a worrying trend that is indicative of the growing forces of fascism in the country. These laws, which seek to restrict the rights and freedoms of transgender people, are based on the false belief that transgender people are somehow a threat to society. They are nothing more than a form of discrimination and bigotry. There has been “unprecedented and dangerous” spike in discriminatory legislation sweeping state houses this year, with more than 525 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced and more than 70 signed into law so far in 2023 — more than double last year’s number. In a report released Tuesday, Human Rights Campaign said the new laws are a result of coordinated Republican efforts, supported by “well-funded extremist groups.”

A recent Associated Press analysis found that many bills seeking to ban or restrict gender-affirming health care for transgender youth, who have been the primary targets of state legislation this year, sprang not from grassroots or constituent demand, but from the pens of a few powerful conservative interest groups.

The expansion of anti-trans laws is a blatant indication that fascist forces are gaining ground in bourgeois political sphere of the United States. These laws are the outcome of the ruling class's use of its control over financial resources, which inevitably brings about fascisation. However, these laws are often failing, even in states like Texas.

These laws do not find support among the masses, but instead rally the energies of fascist elements within the electoral pool of the Republican party. By pushing for these reactionary trend, in media and in life, the most reactionary forces hope to increase the prevalence of this issue in public discourse. In so doing, they bring themselves closer to power. Certain elements of the Republicans rely on this movement to defeat their enemies within the conservative camp.

We must reveal the deception behind these laws, to fight against fascisation and oppression on any basis.

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4