A Preview of the 88th Legislative Session
And it doesn’t look good for the LGBTQ+ community
In light of the tragic shooting that claimed five lives at Colorado Spring’s Club Q in November, groups like GLAAD and Equality Texas pointed the finger at the rise of anti-LGBTQ legislation. At the time, Austin Davis Ruiz, the Montrose Center’s communications and marketing manager, said: “In the last Texas legislative session 120 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were filed, the violence we are seeing today is a direct result of the hate being openly directed to our community.”
On the first day to pre-file bills for the upcoming legislative session starting in January, 17 anti-LGBTQ bills were filed. They included bans on access to gender-affirming care, LGBTQ topics in schools, participation on college athletic teams, and even one bill, HB 643, that would criminalize drag performances. House Bill 42, filed by Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, would expand the state’s definition of child abuse to include providing gender-affirming health care under the guidance of a doctor or mental health care provider. The Legislature declined to pass a similar bill last session. So far, there are 24 anti-LGBTQ bills on file.