Republicans are going to unprecedented lengths to force through their cruel transphobia

Republican Texas governor Greg Abbott

Republican lawmakers across the southern US states are calling special sessions to try and force through anti-trans legislation.

A cruel Texas ban on trans youth from sports teams aligning with their gender identity was defeated in May when it failed to come up for a full vote on the state’s House floor before the legislature adjourned for the year.

However, earlier this month, Texas governor Greg Abbott ordered a special session for Republicans to try to tackle “unfinished business”, including once again discussing the anti-trans sports ban.

Other issues to be debated during the special session include decreasing access to contraceptive medication, banning the teaching of critical race theory in Texas schools and legislation to safeguard “freedom of speech” by protecting social media users from being censored.

A Texas Senate committee last week passed two bills – SB 2 and SB 32 – that would seek to ban trans students from participating on sports teams that match their gender identity.

Abbott has chillingly promised that the attacks against trans youth in Texas will not end with this special session. Abbott said during a radio interview Monday (19 July) that he was preparing to restrict gender-affirming care for trans minors in the state, the Texas Tribune reported.

Conservative radio host Mark Davis questioned Abbott about why he did not include a ban on gender-affirming healthcare for minors in the politician’s special session agenda after it failed to pass during the regular session.

“I have another way of achieving the exact same thing, and it’s about a finished product as we speak right now and may be announced as soon as this week,” Abbot said.

He did not provide further information about his path forward with the dreadful legislation. But he said that the chances of such a bill passing in the Texas House during a regular session was “nil”.

According to the Texas Tribune, the Senate passed the anti-trans healthcare bill during the regular session. But it fell foul of the same bill-killing deadline in the House as the anti-trans sports ban.

The bill would have banned hormone therapy, puberty-blocking treatments and transition-related surgeries for minors.

Protect Trans kids

Placard saying “Protect Trans kids” during the Trans march on the streets of Toronto during the Pride Month. (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Just one state over, Republicans are backing an anti-trans sports bill in Louisiana

State senators in Louisiana have narrowly voted Tuesday (20 July) to overturn Democratic governor John Bel Edwards’ rejection of a bill banning trans youth from participating in school sports. Edwards rejected Senate Bill 156, otherwise known as the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” in June – a huge move for the normally conservative state.

However, Republicans have pushed forward with the hateful legislation and declared they would hold a veto session. It is the first veto session ever held under the Louisiana Constitution which was enacted in 1974, according to the Associated Press.

Lawmakers voted 26-12 to override Edwards’ rejection. The Associated Press reported this was the exact number of votes needed for the veto to be overturned. The vote fell mostly along party lines with Republicans unsurprisingly voting in support and Democrats against.

Senator Beth Mizell, the Louisiana Senate’s second-ranking Republican, argued the ban will protect women and girls participating in sports across publicly-funded K-12 and high educational institutions.

“Without protection, women’s sports would not exist. Nothing has changed,” Mizell said.

She added: “I ask you to do what is right for the girls of Louisiana and to put the politics aside on this.”

Similar bans have been passed by Republican-led legislatures in several Southern states including Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida.