Legislative Star and Texas Thorn of the Week
By Samuina Tahbou | May 4, 2023, noon
Welcome to our new, weekly Legislative Star vs. Texas Thorn Blog, where we'll bring you the best and worst of the Texas 88th Legislative Session. On this blog, we’ll give you the latest news out of the Capitol and let you know who are each week’s Thorn and Star.
Our very first Texas Thorn is none other than Speaker of the House Dade Phelan.
On Tuesday, hundreds of Texans gathered at the Capitol to protest Senate Bill 14 (SB 14), which would ignore medical advice and bar minors from accessing lifesaving, gender-affirming care. The bill was scheduled for debate on the House floor, but Phelan was not pleased with seeing so many people rightfully stand up against hate, so he called in the cavalry – DPS Troopers – to clear the House gallery and kick out the activists and community members protesting SB 14, claiming that they had “breached decorum”.
Over 80 DPS troopers were deployed against peaceful protestors, which led to the arrest of trans activist and Texas Freedom Network’s Organizing Director, Adri Pérez.
Earlier in the day, when parents of trans kids attempted to meet with Phelan's office to discuss the bill, his office locked the door and refused to meet with them. Let's not forget Phelan's track record of supporting extremist legislation, including the 6-week abortion ban, permitless carry, and anti-voter bills.
What happened at the Capitol on Tuesday was an assault on trans youth and Texans’ right to express themselves. Speaker Phelan, let us remind you that you are serving at the people’s house, we will not be intimidated and silent while you continue to pass an extremist and unpopular right-wing agenda.
This week, we recognize Representative Mary González as our Legislative Star! As the Chair of the LGBTQ+ Caucus and a Planned Parenthood champion, Rep. González has been a fierce advocate for reproductive rights and the LGBTQ+ community.
On Tuesday, Rep. González successfully delayed the progress of SB 14, a bill that would ban minors from accessing gender-affirming care, by calling a point of order on the bill, arguing the bill analysis was incorrect, which sent it back to committee. It has now been rescheduled for debate on Friday.
With so many harmful bills threatening the rights of Texans, especially trans youth, this delay is a real victory. Every day we can stop hateful legislation from being voted on, is a win for us all.
Thank you Rep. González for being at the front of the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and for your commitment to creating an inclusive Texas.
Tags: legislation, Texas