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Texas could join growing list of states banning treatment for transgender youth

Legislature Transgender Sports
Posted at 4:43 PM, Apr 27, 2021

Texas is on the brink of becoming the latest state to pass a law or implement executive orders this year that limit the abilities of transgender youth. Some of the measures are focused on youth sports and some are focused on those under 18 receiving medical treatment.

On Tuesday, the Texas Senate gave initial approval to SB1646, which would ban people under 18 from receiving gender-affirming medical care. The Texas measure would also allow Child Protective Services to remove a child from a home if the child receives gender-affirming care.

The way the bill is written, it would amend the definition of abuse under the Texas Family Code to include administering or consenting to a child's use of puberty suppression treatment, hormones or surgery for the purpose of gender transitioning.

The senate bill still has another vote before it will be sent to the Texas House for a vote. The Texas Tribune reports it's unclear what the proposal's future is in the House.

Lawmakers in Arkansas became the first to pass a measure banning gender-affirming medical treatments for minors, over the veto of Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Texas joins Alabama and Tennessee with pending similar measures.

Several states have passed bills that ban transgender girls from competing on girls' sports teams in public schools; Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi have enacted measures this year. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order enacting a ban for her state. Other states are considering similar measures.

More than 400 companies, including Tesla, Pfizer, Delta Airlines, and Amazon, have signaled their support of legislation moving through Congress that would protect the civil rights of LGBTQ people. The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights law to explicitly note sexual orientation and gender identification as protected characteristics. The measure passed the House in February and now sits with the Senate.

Some of those same corporations have signed a statement drafted by the Human Rights Campaign, a LGBTQ-rights advocacy group, that tells state leaders they will consider these measures when considering new business locations.

“As we make complex decisions about where to invest and grow, these issues can influence our decisions," the statement reads, in part.