A slew of bills targeting transgender youth is moving quickly through the 87th Texas Legislative Session, and Harris County has responded by taking a stand against hate.
During a meeting on April 27, the Harris County Commissioners Court enacted a resolution that opposes bills that discriminate against trans children. The resolution, authored by longtime LGBTQ ally Judge Lina Hidalgo, passed 3 to 2 along party lines.
“My resolution basically states that the Commissioners Court opposes anti-transgender bills, and will uphold the diversity and inclusivity of the County,” Hidalgo said. “It seems to me that schoolchildren face enough challenges as it is.”
More than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country this year, and Texas has introduced more harmful bills than any other state. Of the more than 30 anti-LGBTQ bills filed, at majority of the bills attack the rights of transgender children—specifically trans student athletes and any trans youth trying to access gender-affirming medical care.
Legislative attacks against the trans community are not new, according to Equality Texas, an organization that has been advocating for LGBTQ rights at the Capitol since its inception in 1978. The group has worked with hundreds of pro-equality Texans in the past to successfully defeat anti-trans bills.
“We had a conversation in 2017, and Texans spoke loud and clear and rejected the bathroom bill targeting transgender Texans,” said Equality Texas senior adviser Angela Hale. “Now, 70 percent of Texans—a supermajority—support equality for all Texans and oppose discriminatory legislation targeting vulnerable transgender children.”
Hale notes that despite strict pandemic protocols, trans children and their parents have traveled from all over the state to the Texas Capitol to testify in opposition to the bills. “We’re grateful that members listened to the voices of families and real experts. We ask the Legislature, and especially leaders in the Texas House, to once again reject this and all unnecessary and harmful legislation, and focus on issues that unite us as Texans.”
Equality Texas is grateful that Harris County’s leaders are listening, Hale said.
“We are pleased that the Harris County Commissioners Court voted to pass a resolution to protect trans kids in Texas,” she added. “The unprecedented onslaught of anti-LGBTQ bills filed this session—30 in all, targeting innocent Texas children, their parents, their doctors, their health care and insurance—denies lifesaving, best-practice medical care.”