Texas Democrat ‘censured’ after voting against LGBTQ+ rights – despite campaigning as an ally

Democrat Shawn Thierry

A Democrat lawmaker in Texas has been censured for voting in favour of two separate bills which seek to restrict LGBTQ+ rights.

On 12 May, Shawn Thierry broke ranks from other Democratic lawmakers in the state House of Representatives by voting in favour of SB14, a bill that seeks to restrict healthcare for trans youth by banning puberty blockers and hormone therapy until the age of 18.

In April, she also voted in favour of HB900 (one of 12 House Democrats to do so), which would restrict “sexually explicit material” from school libraries that is not “directly related to required curriculum”.

If enacted, HB900 would result in books being sold to schools having to be rated by an agency as “sexually relevant” or “sexually explicit” material. The bill – dubbed the ‘Book Burning Act’ has been heavily criticised as LGBTQ+ groups warn it could amount to outright censorship of LGBTQ+ themes, characters and content.

After voting in favour of SB14, Thierry released a two-page statement saying she had been “assured that this position is rooted in sound policy which supports the health, development and overall wellbeing of minors”.

She also said she wanted an age restriction of 18 to be codified into law for gender affirming surgeries – despite this already being medical practice.

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In response to her votes, the Meyerland Area Democrats Club – a group that is dedicated to the election of Democratic candidates and the promotion of issues of concern to Democrats – voted to censure Thierry on Monday (15 May).

The motion to censure Thierry was brought by club member Lisa Stanton, who has a trans daughter.

In a statement, the Meyerland Area Democrats Club said they had “great concern” and “deep dissatisfaction” with her voting record, but did not explicitly state what the censure would be.

“We firmly believe that these votes have demonstrated a lack of consideration for the best interests of our community.”

The statement also addresses the disconnect between Thierry’s previous campaigning and apparent allyship, and her voting record.

“Rep. Thierry campaigned on being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, yet she has supported legislation which will harm this community and doesn’t align with democratic principles,” it reads.

The Meyerland Area Democrats Club has called on Thierry to reconsider her stance, as well as inviting her to explain her votes in person to the organisation.