On April 4, the Republican-controlled Texas Senate passed SB 12 and SB 14, which would not only ban medical gender modification for minors but would also prevent drag shows from being performed in front of minors, including Drag Queen Story Hour.
The 2 bills were part of Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's priorities for this legislative session. Now that the measures have passed the Senate, they will head to the Texas House, where they will go before a committee.
The bills have been seen as part of a nationwide movement by conservatives to return power to parents and protect minors from sexualization.
SB 14, which was sponsored by medical physician Sen. Donna Campbell (R), would put an end to medical gender modification in the state. The bill passed the Senate after a controversial amendment was removed that would have grandfathered in non-surgical gender modification for minors who started treatment 90 days before the bill would become law.
The measure prohibits medical providers from prescribing puberty blockers to minors unless they are deemed medically necessary. It also bans surgical sex change operations for minors.
Under the bill, a doctor who conducted surgery or prescribed puberty blockers would lose their medical license.
SB 14 also prevents public funds from being used or provided to health care professionals, hospitals, medical schools, or physicians who provide such surgeries or drugs.
Sen. Bryan Hughes (R) sponsored SB 12, which would ban the performance of drag shows in front of minors and SB 1601, which would end Drag Queen Story Hours by defunding the public libraries that host them.
SB 12 would make it illegal to do sexually oriented performances on public property, in front of children, or at businesses and would ban performers from dressing as the opposite sex and using "clothing, makeup, or other similar physical markers and who sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise, performs before an audience" appealing to sexual interests.
Breaking the law by performing a drag show would result in a Class A misdemeanor and a fine of up to $10,000.
Patrick released a statement applauding the Senate's passage of the bills.
"As Lt. Governor, I believe the practice of child gender modification is abhorrent and must be stopped in Texas," Patrick said.
"Children, who cannot make decisions on their own, must be protected from these sexually-oriented drag shows now occurring more and more in front of them," he added.
The bills still need to clear the state House before heading to Governor Abbott's desk to be signed into law.
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