Debate starting now on HB 25, a bill backed by zero evidence and with overwhelming committee testimony against it, to put into Texas law a ban on transgender children's right to participate in public school activities with their friends.
Rep. Swanson, bill author, is now citing that the UIL dep. dir. said there has been "an exponential increase in calls" about trans kids playing sports.
But in testimony, that same UIL rep could not a single instance of an issue with trans kids playing UIL sports in TX.
Rep. Swanson just invoked Renee Richards, a transgender woman who played tennis in the 1970s.
(Everyone has seen the "transgender takeover of women's sports" since then...right?)
Rep. @juliejohnsonTX asks Swanson how many transgender kids are playing UIL sports in Texas.
Rep. Swanson calls it "a good question" & eventually kind of admits they have no idea.
. @RepMaryGonzalez: "What are we doing here?"
She says we know for a fact that this bill will harm some children.
Gonzalez: "Are we ok for some students to be bullied?"
Reminder that this happened today 👇
Rep Johnson asks Rep Swanson about suicide rates.
Swanson says every life is precious and we should not bully and "we need to support everyone."
Johnson says this seems disingenuous while this debate has fueled 150% increase in crisis contacts from LGBTQ kids this year. #txlege
The debate over transgender kids in Texas this year is putting kids in crisis, and Rep Swanson's solution to this is - you cannot make this up - to end debate on HB 25 right now & vote, so that there's no more debate.
Not that much surprises me anymore, but I gasped.
When Johnson pushes on transgender kids being in crisis, Swanson says, essentially, that she's worried about the girl who loses a spot in sports to a transgender teammate. There is no evidence or even anecdotes of this happening in Texas.
Swanson tells @ErinForYall that she wants to help solve the gap in girls' participation in sports by attending a local women's sports game with Rep. Ann Johnson
. @VoteAnnJohnson is in tears, talking about being a young girl & seeing a woman on TV saying gay people are going to hell. Ann realized "If I said anything, I wouldn't be loved. That was the moment I went in the closet."
Johnson says she came out after 30 years + cancer diagnosis, because she realized she had never truly known love, even love of herself.
She tells kids watching that they're loved..."like the sunrise & sunset, you are brilliant & different from day & night. You are loved."
Rep. Mary Gonzalez is reading members' own words when they voted this spring to include homeschooled kids in UIL sports. I missed who she quoted but this was my favorite quote from that floor debate, from an R #txlege member:
Rep. Bryan Slaton, who has filed countless anti-trans amendments to countless bills these 270+ days this #txlege year, is up with an amendment. I believe it's this:
Rep @jessicafortexas asks Slaton if he's going to inspect a child's genitals to prove their gender.
He says maybe there would have to be physicals by "an appropriate person."
Gonzalez asks if kids are going to be "inspected - have to pull their pants down"
The Bull of the Brazos is not happy FYI
Rep Slaton says children could do DNA chromosome tests if they're accused of being transgender.

Who would pay for this??
"Intersex kids do exist" --Rep Gonzalez

This fact makes folks who don't like transgender people so uncomfortable, because the argument rests on "male and female He made them"
"I played sports too but I don't recall having to pull my pants down" - Rep. Gonzalez
The amendment that would allow for genital inspections of girls accused of being transgender "is acceptable to the author."
It passes
My daughter has been accused of "being a boy" already by some peers, and she's only 8. If your daughter has short hair, if she's fast or strong or tall, this one's for you
here's a real thing that has happened with physicals in girls' sports
Mary Gonzalez: "Yes or no: does your bill have implications for trans youth?"

She asks multiple times. The bill author refuses to answer.
Rep Julie Johnson offers an amendment to replace "sex" with "gender" on the bill. This would actually be closer to "codification of UIL rules," which is what the bill author claims she is doing.
It fails.
Rep @vote4ina w/amendment to at least allow trans kids to participate in practices. Rep Briscoe Cain, who supports this Save Women's Sports bill & took to twitter this summer to call US Women soccer star @mPinoe a "man" calls a point of order to try to kill the amendment
POO withdrawn. Bill author opposes the amendment that would allow transgender kids to just practice with teams.
Author has said she's worried about cisgender girls losing scholarships to transgender girls. How would practice impact that?
Bill author opposing a Minjarez amendment to allow transgender kids to at least practice on teams. Rep. @TurnerForTX asks if this means that boys & girls can't even practice together.
Has anyone seen XC boys and girls run together? This is a normal thing that happens.
Amendment to allow trans kids to just participate in practices, and to make sure boys and girls can practice together more generally, fails 71-55
. @BucyForTexas runs a UIL-like org for interscholastic sports in charter schools. He says the league is inclusive of trans kids and they've *never* had a problem.
"Being in youth sports changes lives and this bill takes that opportunity away from transgender kids."
The language of the Slaton amendment, which passed, was stuck in my brain.
It's here in a 2021 Utah bill, HB 92, to try to ban lifesaving medical care for transgender adolescents. #txlege
The Slaton amendment language also appears in Alabama HB 1, filed 2/2/21, another bill to ban lifesaving care for transgender adolescents.
The Slaton amendment language also appears in Louisiana HB 575, filed 4/2/21
Texas, here's your future headline
Rep Turner calls a point of order that HB 25 is outside the scope of the special session agenda, in which Gov. Abbott stipulated a bill "identical" to SB 29 as passed by the #txlege Senate in the regular session.
Turner's POO is withdrawn.
Rep Tinderholt, an HB 25 supporter, now throws on an amendment on. He dropped it & moved passage very quickly so is not taking questions. Dem members are puzzling through what the term "scrivener error" even means in the legal context. #txlege
Rep Tinderholt is back. He says "scrivener's error" is a legal principle which permits unintentional typographical error to be corrected.
These members don't understand or don't believe that intersex conditions are real.
Rep Zwiener calls a POO, saying this bill is outside the bounds of the call for the special session
POO withdrawn. Rep. @jamestalarico has an amendment, I think to bring the bill exactly in line with current UIL policy, which I will link.
Swanson says it "defeats the purpose of" her bill. She wants to stick with birth certificates.
Rep. Swanson says explicitly that Texas UIL "asked for this" (I assume her bill).
Has anyone asked UIL leadership this question?
"This is an immoral and hateful bill" - @jamestalarico
He goes on to say it's unenforceable. Once birth certificates are amended, there's no way to tell that it was changed, or why.
Pardon me while I have a short intermission
Rep. Harold Dutton really seems to have engaged in a lot of learning on this topic. It's nice to watch! That's what good lawmakers do!
Rep. Talarico says that, given there's no way to see why or how a birth certificate was changed, the only way to enforce this law would be by "forced genital examinations."
. @ChrisGTurner has an amendment to limit the bill to individual competitions like track or weightlifting - but clarifies he doesn't think there's any problem to be solved here.
Amendment fails.
Rep Julie Johnson is back with an amendment saying that transgender boys should be able to compete with boys. IOW the bill would only impact transgender girls.
She has now temporarily withdrawn it
Rep Vikki Goodwin with an amendment.
She cites data showing that states that ban transgender kids from sports actually see a decrease in girls' participation in sports.
Sorry...I missed what the amendment does but Swanson opposes it, saying "it guts the bill"
amendment fails
Goodwin has another amendment. Says this bill's function is to single out children and tell them they don't belong.
She's asking for licensed counselors to be available for kids who are blocked from sports.
Rep Israel has an amendment to allow a coach to have discretion since they know their kids and teams best. I missed the vote but I’m sure it failed.
Rep @Jon_RosenthalTX says he has dear friends and constituents with transgender kids. Talking about local control and principals. Tony tinderholt jumps in asking about “females being forced to compete against men”
Rosenthal says he’s cisgender. Tinderholt is pretty aggressive - “I don’t even know what that means … can we just say male and female…no matter what you wanna call them, they (transgender girls) are BOYS”
Anchia at the mic asking Swanson a question. Anchia is wearing a mask. Swanson says she can’t hear him. Anchia says he’s first generation, joke about his English. Swanson says no it’s the mask. FWIW I can hear him fine.
Swanson doesn’t want to say whether she’s ever played sports (?)
Swanson says
a) principals have a conflict of interest because they want their sports teams to win, and that’s why they didn’t testify for the bill, AND
b) she has been contacted privately by principals who want the bill
Rep Anchia has called a point of order.
I hate POO silence
Point of order withdrawn
Who named it a
Point Of Order
and not a
Desperate to Undo Malicious Policy
Moody with a POO
This is still true of this bill, as amended. The amendment author himself said it could cause “show me your genitals” exams of accused girls
If these points of order are not sustained & HB 25 goes to a vote, this is what will pass.
Opening up any girl accused of being a boy to a) dropping out, b) having a doctor look at her private parts while under accusation, or c) her parents paying for a chromosomal test #txlege
Rep Harold Dutton has an amendment to make the birth certificate the final word. He says he wants to “make sure nobody decides that somebody gets to look in your child’s pants” - clearly referencing the Slaton amendment
Bill author opposes it.
I want to catch folks up that Rep Slaton has tried ALL YEAR to add anti trans amendments to anything that moves. All failed. This body now allows only 1 of his amendments, to THIS bill about to pass - that’s appalling. It turns a bad bill into a genital exam bill. #txlege
People will gloat when this passes, which proves that it’s just a game to them

We wouldn’t gloat if it failed
We’d cry exhausted tears & call our trans friends to tell them we ❤️ them

We’d know it’s not over bc every 2 years proves #txlege politicians see LGBTQ lives as a prop
. @DiegoBernalTX gives an impassioned speech, reading this body’s own bullying statute and saying the #txlege is violating it tonight.
. @VotePennyShaw tells trans kids that they may stop them from playing but they can’t stop “you from being you.”
Rep @ChrisGTurner says that many who will vote for HB25 tonight know it’s “stupid” & don’t believe in it. “But y’know, primaries.”
Headlines are gonna be great tomorrow
“You are creating state-mandated genital inspection” - @VoteAnnJohnson
My daughter is sitting next to me and when Ann Johnson says taller, faster, stronger - she keeps saying “That’s me. That’s me. That’s me.”
I’m so fucking tired of this
“We’re the state that sent a man to the moon….when did we become so small?” - @jamestalarico
Talarico now speaking to his “fellow believers.” Says the worst part of hours of testimony was Christians using scripture to hurt children.
I’m with him.
God is love
God is love
God is love
“Bullying children is a special kind of sin.”
Matt Schaefer asks if Talarico will yield.
Talarico tells him he and his “allies” have said enough this year. He will not yield.
Tells transgender kids they are “loved beyond measure.”
Schaefer tries again. Wants to quote Scripture to Talarico. He does not yield.

I hope sometime he reads about Philip the evangelist and the eunuch.
Rep Zwiener tries to explain why we use cisgender and transgender. Language that helps people feel seen.
I’m having a hard time live tweeting this part. So much sadness and grief and anger. And my daughter keeps asking what the heck they are doing to kids. It’s just a lot.
Zwiener says she’s a sexual assault survivor.

The way these hideous lies force people to tear open their wounds for everyone’s consumption.
“Every time you go after trans girls, you make it easier for cis girls to be bullied” - Zwiener
Zwiener hits it.
The “primary vote” gets bigger and grosser every year.
Tony Tinderholt prefers we refocus on whether members are using the appropriate tone.
Schaefer is back up with Genesis “male and female he created them” and then Matthew 19:4 male and female. He could read seven more verses ahead. Where Jesus says gender minorities are real too.
Bill author Rep Valoree Swanson about to close on the bill. Can be heard on a hot mic asking if the photographer is ready for when they pass HB 25 to isolate and exclude transgender children.
It’s all a show.
HB 25 passes, something to something. I don’t know.
Speaker Phelan says they’re adjourning and reconvening in 4 minutes to begin “a new legislative day” and do final passage of this bill. They can’t wait til tomorrow
They're now doing the second and final vote (which is confusingly called Third Reading) on HB 25. Hope those cameras are ready
76-54, HB 25 passes.
A shameful day in Texas.
76 anti-LGBTQ bills filed this year in Texas. It was just too many for some folks to hold back, apparently.
I'm really, really sorry.
If you need support, please please reach out to
@TrevorProject 24/7 at 866.488.7386 or text/chat at:
You are not alone. You have NO IDEA how many people love you and think you are worth it.

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More from @jessicashortall

14 Oct
“These kids are…just trying to stay alive...I hope there will be enough grace in our state to find a better solution...I apologize for getting a little emotional. But when you spend time with these kids, it changes your heart in important ways.”
UT Gov Spencer Cox
“This is not a South Dakota issue, we already know that. It’s a national cause for certain people.”
SD President Pro Tem Lee Schoenbeck (R-Watertown)
SD Sen. Helene Duhamel (R-Rapid City) did not support the bill because the issue impacts so few students and the bill creates more problems than it solves.
Read 10 tweets
13 Oct
Political Director for TX GOP wants to replace the "goddess of liberty" statue, atop the Capitol since 1888, w/a crucifix.
Party platform: "All monuments or markers...shall be protected by law from being removed, defaced, destroyed, or otherwise dishonored."
I guess the rules are We Make (And Break) The Rules, and also:
-- "erasing our history" = good when it does a Christian nationalism
-- "erasing our history" = bad when it confronts white supremacy?
Everyone says this kind of stuff is hysterical but...we keep lurching in this direction?
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
This TX Values press conference about HB 25 ban on kids playing sports is so jovial.
It's almost like 290 people didn't show up to testify, beg, & share how it's already hurting children.
Almost like the 50 people who showed up to support had ANY evidence (they didn't).
Banning kids from a "classroom"?
Never see this issue?
This is an argument to NOT pass this bill.
It is so telling that Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum is speaking in support of the HB 25 sports ban today.
Read 5 tweets
12 Oct
It's hard to explain the level of irony but I'll try:
$30,000 of his campaign funds came from Texas Right to Life.
#txlege Image
140,000 kids in America have lost a parent to COVID.
68,000+ Texans are gone.

Right to Life.
14,135 children in Texas have lost a primary caregiver to COVID.
Those kids' lives will never be the same.
Tell them about "freedom."
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
In the #txlege House hearing on the 26th bill this year to ban transgender kids from youth sports, bill author states that we need to prepare (for some future trans kids I think) the way the state realized it should’ve prepared for the winter storm that killed hundreds of people
Bill author Rep Swanson now answering questions from Rep Ann Johnson, saying girls’ participation on Texas UIL sports is lower than boys’.
Nothing in this bill addresses what’s causing this disparity to try to get more girls into sports. #txlege
Rep. Johnson asks about gender stereotyping of girls & sports. Rep Swanson says that’s resolved itself, mentions “girls who are whatever.”
Here’s a cisgender woman trail runner who was accused this year of being a man because she won a race. #txlege…
Read 122 tweets
3 Oct
All college football coach names are made up and probably an elaborate troll; prove me wrong

Urban Meyer? That’s an artisanal cocktail or at best a lemon scented candle
Tommy Tuberville is an animated children’s show about a talking snowplow
Dabo Swinney is someone’s phone erroneously autocorrecting Dave Sweeney
Read 24 tweets

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