AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN/NEXSTAR) — Texas House Democrats on Friday leveled a successful procedural objection to Senate Bill 14, which would ban gender transition care for minors. This is the second roadblock to the Republican priority legislation after a vote was delayed earlier in the week when opponents filled the chamber’s gallery in protest.
The bill was set for a vote Tuesday but the protests and a parliamentary move changed the plan.
As the debate started on Friday, Rep. Mary González (D-El Paso) raised a point of order as a procedural move in an attempt to block the bill. The bill was sent back to the House Committee on Public Health to fix the challenged errors.
The bill will be back up for debate in the House next week, according to Calendars Committee Chairman Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), who decides which bills are discussed on the House floor and when.
“It won’t be watered down. It will pass and become law,” he said.
On Tuesday, as lawmakers began to open debate on the bill on second reading, protesters in the gallery started chanting in opposition to the legislation. Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan asked the Sergeant at Arms to clear the House gallery.
SB 14 would prohibit trans youth from getting puberty blockers and hormone therapy in order to transition. Some medical groups and providers told lawmakers this care can be vital to their mental health during previous committee hearings on the bills. Trans kids who are already accessing these treatments for gender-affirming purposes would have to be “weaned off” in a “medically appropriate” manner. The bill would also prohibit transition-related surgeries, though these are rarely performed on kids, according to a Politifact fact check.
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The Senate has already passed a version of the bill, and Republican leaders in the House have expressed confidence that it has broad support from the GOP majority amongst the lower chamber. On Tuesday, Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) told radio talk show host Mark Davis he felt “very confident” the House would pass SB 14.
“I expect a handful of Democrats to join us. I know there are more Democrats, a multitude of Democrats, that support this that want to vote for it,” Leach said. “The question mark is whether their gonna be able to break away.”