Texas House Democrats delayed a May 2 vote on a bill that would ban transition-related treatments for Texas minors. At the same time, state troopers ejected hundreds of protesters from the state Capitol after rallies both for and against the legislation became heated.

Senate Bill 14, by Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, would prohibit doctors from providing puberty-blocking medication, hormone therapy or gender confirmation surgery to anyone under the age of 18. If the bill becomes law, doctors who provide these treatments would lose their medical licenses.

The bill was approved by the Texas Senate in early April. It was up for debate by the House on May 2, but Rep. Mary González, D-Clint, raised a concern about a technical error in the bill before it could be discussed.

As lawmakers began considering the bill, LGBTQ+ advocates started chants in the House gallery. In a rare move, House Speaker Dade Phelan ordered state troopers to clear protesters both for and against the bill from the gallery. Phelan backed his decision in a tweet later that evening.

SB 14 was then sent back to the House Committee on Public Health to fix the issue. The full House is expected to debate the bill later this week, but an official date has not been announced.Opponents of the bill continued their protests on the second floor of the Capitol rotunda, chanting “protect trans kids.” Meanwhile, the bill’s supporters held a prayer circle on the first floor.
Members of the American Principles Project create a prayer circle on the first floor of the Capitol rotunda May 2. Protesters convened on the Texas Capitol in support of SB 14. (Hannah Norton/Community Impact)
Police later removed all protesters from the Capitol. Multiple transgender-rights activists were escorted out of the building in handcuffs.

Eve Molar is a transgender woman and has two children. She told Community Impact she worried that transgender children and their families would be forced to leave Texas if SB 14 becomes law.

“Trans kids know who they are, and they deserve gender-affirming health care,” Molar said. “Gender-affirming health care for minors is safe and proven, and it does not involve irreversible surgeries. So [passing] this bill and trying to strip health care for trans kids is just using them as a scapegoat to advance other political ideas.”

The House version of SB 14 would allow children who are currently receiving nonsurgical treatments—like hormone therapy and puberty blockers—to temporarily continue them. Minors could continue their existing treatment if it began before June 1 and they attended at least 12 counseling or psychotherapy sessions before starting treatment. Doctors would be required to wean patients off the treatment and would not be allowed to give them new medications.

In most cases, transgender people do not undergo gender-confirmation surgery until they reach adulthood.

Many major health care organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association and the Texas Pediatric Society, have expressed their support for age appropriate gender-affirming care for minors.

Ash Hall, the policy and advocacy strategist on LGBTQ+ rights for the ACLU of Texas, said House lawmakers need to take a stand against SB 14.

“This isn't just an issue that will cause a small amount of harm, that can be brushed aside or shaken off in a matter of weeks or months,” Hall said. “The lives of children are at stake. So we need lawmakers to exhibit brave leadership and vote against this bill.”
Transgender-rights activists protested against Senate Bill 14 on May 2 at the Texas Capitol, chanting "protect trans kids" and "no place for hate." (Hannah Norton/Community Impact)