‘Protect trans kids’ chants ring through Texas Capitol as school sports ban dies a welcome death
LGBT+ activists in Texas are celebrating the death of a bill that would have banned trans children from playing in school sports aligning with their gender identity.
The Texas House had a deadline to pass bills from the Texas Senate of midnight Tuesday (25 May), which expired before Senate Bill 29 (SB29) could receive a vote.
Opponents of the legislation fought the bill up to its deadline. Protesters gathered in the House gallery at the Capitol Building in Austin, Texas with trans Pride flags, chanting: “Protect trans kids”.
— Melissa Gira Grant (@melissagira) May 25, 2021
Erin Zwiener, a Democratic member of the Texas House, posted another video of the LGBT+ activists. In the video, they called for lawmakers to “Stop SB29”.
— Erin Zwiener (@ErinForYall) May 25, 2021
In another video, protestors and lawmakers cheered in joy and waved trans pride flags as the clock struck midnight, and SB29 officially died.
Watch as cheers erupt and transgender flags wave when the #txlege clock ticks midnight and so #SB29 the anti- trans sports bill is officially dead! #ProtectTransKids Thank you Texas Democratic House members!! 🏳️⚧️❤️🏳️⚧️❤️🏳️⚧️❤️🏳️⚧️❤️ pic.twitter.com/77blSH6N5x
— Meghan Stabler (@MeghanStabler) May 26, 2021
Zwiener, who has been a staunch opponent of SB29, shared in the joy felt by trans youth and their families when the bill failed to pass its deadline. She posted a picture of herself alongside other lawmakers and opponents of the bill holding trans pride flags.
“Ding dong the bill is dead,” Zwiener wrote on Twitter.
— Erin Zwiener (@ErinForYall) May 26, 2021
Art Fierro, a Texas Democratic representative, also celebrated the death of SB29. He wrote: “Tonight, we made our message loud and clear: despite the constant attacks on our Trans youth throughout this session, we will protect Trans kids!”
— Representative Art Fierro (@ArtFierro79) May 26, 2021
Representative Ana-Maria Ramos also posted on Twitter to share that lawmakers “successfully stopped SB29”. She also shared a photo of her holding up her adorable dog and a trans pride flag.
“Today was a testament to the resilient spirit of the amazing trans community and all of the allies who stood by us all session,” Ramos wrote.
We did it! During a 14 hour day at the lege, we successfully stopped SB29 – an anti-trans sports bill that threatened to hurt our Texas trans youth. Today was a testament to the resilient spirit of the amazing trans community and all of the allies who stood by us all session. pic.twitter.com/dJr8cVfj3a
— Representative Ana-Maria Ramos (@Ramos4Texas) May 26, 2021
Writer Ari Drennen also commemorated the moment that SB29 “failed to pass before the end of the session”. Drennen wrote: “Thanks to the trans people protesting and the LGBTQ legislators who did everything in their power to slow this down as much as possible”.
Holy shit they ran out the clock!!! SB29 failed to pass before the end of the session! Thanks to the trans people protesting and the LGBTQ legislators who did everything in their power to slow this down as much as possible 🏳️⚧️ https://t.co/ZDvmAjAUj7
— Ari Drennen (@AriDrennen) May 26, 2021
SB 29 initially failed to receive the requisite seven votes needed for it to move out of the House’s public education committee. The bill received a six to five vote in favour on 4 May, and it looked destined to fail.
However, it was later revived by Democratic representative Harold Dutton, who did not vote in support of the bill initially. According to the Houston Chronicle, Dutton changed his vote as a “consequence” after a fellow Democrat killed one of Dutton’s unrelated education bills on a procedural technicality.