Human Rights Campaign Condemns Texas Senate for Passing Slate of Discriminatory Bans Targeting Transgender Texans in Sports, Speech and Storytime

by HRC Staff

It’s already a banner year for bans, with five harmful bills passed by the Senate so far, including bans on drag shows, family friendly drag story time, trans college student athletes and gender affirming care - with more bans in progress

AUSTIN, TX – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned the Texas Senate for its unrelenting, misplaced and cruel focus on limiting the lives of transgender Texans.

In response, Cathryn Oakley, HRC’s State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel released the following statement:

“With every new ban that passes, the Texas Senate is cruelly and drastically limiting the freedoms of LGBTQ+ Texans. The animus aimed at transgender Texans is particularly heart wrenching, especially when coupled with the glee of the anti-trans forces behind these bills. Bills like gender affirming care bans, drag show bans, sports bans and gender marker bans are driven by a small group of funders that do not reflect the opinions of the majority of Texans. That’s why public testimony, which has consistently been overwhelmingly opposed to these bills, is not considered by legislative Committees before they pass the bills.”

As an example, at both the Senate State Affairs Committee and House Public Health Committee hearings, opponents of bans on gender-affirming medical care far outnumbered those in favor: 203 to 29 in the Senate, and 2,810 to 95 in the House.

By the end of the day yesterday, April 5th, the Texas Senate had passed the following bans:

  • SB 12 ban on drag shows that creates a civil penalty and a criminal offense;

  • SB 14 ban on medically-necessary gender-affirming medical care;

  • SB 15 ban on transgender athletes who meet the criteria set out by the NCAA playing for public universities;

  • SB 162 ban on using any gender marker other than male or female on birth certificates; and

  • SB 1601 ban on family friendly story hours with readers wearing drag that defunds public libraries that host them.


So far in 2023, HRC is tracking more than 470 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. More than 190 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.

Of those 470+ bills, Texas legislators have introduced more anti-LGBTQ+ measures than legislators in any other state: 100+ opposed by HRC.

This year, HRC is tracking:

  • More than 110 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, 10 have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, and now Idaho.

  • More than 25 bathroom ban bills filed,

  • More than 85 curriculum censorship bills and 40 anti-drag performance bills.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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