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Gov. Greg Abbott signs legislation barring trans youth from accessing transition-related care

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Gov. Greg Abbott signs legislation barring trans youth from accessing transition-related care

Gov. Greg Abbott signs legislation barring trans youth from accessing transition-related care” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Friday a bill that bars transgender kids from getting puberty blockers and hormone therapies, though the new law could face legal challenges before it takes effect on Sept. 1.

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Senate Bill 14's passage brings to the finish line a legislative priority for the Republican Party of Texas, which opposes any efforts to validate transgender identities. Trans kids, their parents and LGBTQ advocacy groups fiercely oppose the law, and some have vowed to stop it from going into effect.

Texas — home to one of the largest trans communities in the U.S. — is now one of over a dozen states that restrict transition-related care for trans minors.

“Cruelty has always been the point,” said Emmett Schelling, executive director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas. “It's not shocking that this governor would sign SB14 right at the beginning of Pride [Month]; however this will not stop trans people from continuing to exist with authenticity — as we always have.”

Authored by New Braunfels Republican state Sen. Donna Campbell, the law bars trans kids from getting puberty blockers and hormone therapies, treatments many medical groups support. Children already receiving these treatments will have to be “weaned off” in a “medically appropriate” manner. The law also bans transition-related surgeries for kids, though those are rarely performed on minors.

Those who support the law claim that health care providers have capitalized on a “social contagion” to misguide parents and push life-altering treatments on kids who may later regret their decisions. SB 14's supporters have also disputed the science and research behind transition-related care.

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But trans kids, their parents and major medical groups say these medical treatments are important to protecting the mental health of an already vulnerable population, which faces a higher risk of depression and suicide than their cisgender peers. At the same time, doctors say cutting off these treatments — gradually or abruptly — could bring both physical discomfort and psychological distress to trans youth, some of whom have called it forced detransitioning.

In response, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, Lambda Legal and the Transgender Law Center pledged on May 18 to fight SB 14 in court. They have yet to file a lawsuit.

“Transgender people have always been here and will always be here,” Ash Hall, policy and advocacy strategist at the ACLU of Texas, said Friday. “Our trans youth deserve a world where they can shine alongside their peers, and we will keep advocating for that world in and out of the courts.”

This legal threat is not new; some of these groups have sued several other states over their restrictions. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice also joined the legal fight against Tennessee's ban.

While the lawsuits are tailored to each state, Sasha Buchert, a senior attorney at Lambda Legal and the director of its Non-Binary and Transgender Rights Project, told the Texas Tribune last month that a major common challenge to the laws hinges on the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and the argument that these laws are stopping trans kids from accessing the same medical treatments that are still available to their cisgender peers.

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Buchert added that the lawsuits' immediate goal is generally to get a preliminary injunction to stop these laws from taking effect, a tactic that has seen some success.

“It's one thing to see some of the things that state legislators do, but it's a completely different thing when you're under the white-hot spotlight of judicial scrutiny,” she said.

And prior to SB 14, the ACLU and Lambda Legal successfully sued Texas last year to halt state-ordered child abuse investigations of parents who provide their trans kids with access to transition-related care. Impeached attorney general Ken Paxton later appealed the decision in March, but the 3rd Court of Appeals has yet to issue a ruling on it.

“It's a privilege to be able to fight,” Buchert said about the ongoing court challenges that Lambda Legal is involved in.

Disclosure: The ACLU of Texas has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/06/02/texas-gender-affirming-care-ban/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

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Fastball, Goo Goo Dolls, Switchfoot to headline 2-day eclipse festival in Fredericksburg

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www.kxan.com – Abigail Jones – 2024-02-29 15:40:32

SUMMARY: Central Texans can celebrate the April 8 total eclipse at the two-day Arch Ray Solar Eclipse Fest in Fredericksburg, Texas. The festival will feature bands like the Goo Goo Dolls and Switchfoot and offer activities such as taxidermy and weddings. Tickets start at $129 and include overnight RV accommodations at the Arch Ray Resort, which has a winery, brewery, distillery, and restaurant. The festival is designed to provide an intimate and exceptional experience, with limited tickets available. The lineup includes live music on April 7 and April 8. Tickets range from $129-$269, with different pricing tiers available.

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Paul Pogba news: World Cup winner, Juventus soccer midfielder tests for testosterone, banned 4 years by Italy anti-doping court

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abc13.com – AP – 2024-02-29 14:13:05

SUMMARY: Paul Pogba’s career appears to be in jeopardy as he was banned for four years by Italy’s anti-doping court for testing positive for testosterone while at Juventus. Pogba plans to appeal the verdict, but chances of success are slim. The positive test stemmed from an exam after a game in August. Pogba denied knowingly taking any banned substances and expressed shock and sadness over the ruling. His contract with Juventus may now be terminated early. Pogba’s career has been marred by injuries since rejoining Juventus, following a successful stint at Manchester United. The case is still ongoing in France, where extortion allegations have been made against him.

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The post Paul Pogba news: World Cup winner, Juventus soccer midfielder tests for testosterone, banned 4 years by Italy anti-doping court appeared first on abc13.com

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Construction starts for Dripping Springs skatepark, named after Dorian Kweller

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www.kxan.com – Abigail Jones – 2024-02-29 13:43:37

SUMMARY: Construction has begun on the Dorian Zev Kweller Memorial Skatepark in Dripping Springs, named after Ben Kweller’s late son who was a passionate skateboarder. The park is expected to be completed by 2024 and will be funded by a 2020 bond. Dorian was known for his influence in the local skateboarding community and frequently visited skate spots with his guitar. He also helped raise funds for the park, which was approved by the city council in 2017. The 10,000 square foot park at Founders Memorial Park aims to provide a safe space for skateboarders in the city.

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