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Houston-Area Republicans File Anti-Trans Budget Amendments

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By John Wright

With the so-called bathroom bill stalled in the Texas Legislature, two Republican state lawmakers from the Houston area have introduced anti-transgender amendments to the budget, which will be considered by the House on Thursday.

The discriminatory measures from freshman Representatives Valoree Swanson, R-Spring, and Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, are among more than 400 proposed amendments to the Legislature’s $218.2 billion, two-year appropriations bill.

Swanson’s amendment would prohibit agencies funded by the state from using those monies to “construct, renovate or reclassify” restrooms, showers or locker rooms “to allow or enable a man to enter a women’s restroom facility or a woman to enter a man’s restroom facility.”

Unlike the bathroom bill, Senate Bill 6, Swanson’s amendment doesn’t base sex on birth certificates, or define “man” or “woman” in any way.

Cain’s amendment would prohibit the Texas Department of Criminal Justice from providing trans state prisoners with “any surgery related to sex reassignment or gender transitioning.” TDCJ currently provides hormone therapy to some trans prisoners but prohibits transition-related surgery, which it doesn’t consider medically necessary.

“Proponents of SB 6, also known as the ‘bathroom bill’ have made it clear this session that they intend to insert discriminatory language that directly targets transgender Texans into anything they can get their hands on, including the budget process,” Equality Texas wrote in an email to supporters on Wednesday.

Both Equality Texas and the Human Rights Campaign are calling people to contact House members and ask them to oppose the amendments.

“We can’t sit back and quietly allow Texas legislators to target LGBTQ Texans with legislation that will further harm our community,” HRC said in an email. “As we have seen in North Carolina, opponents of equality will do anything in their power to enact anti-LGBTQ legislation. We need to stand up and stop them at every turn.”

 

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