With 33 days left in session, Texas Senate remains busy

A last ditch effort to de-rail a proposed ban on medical gender transition care for minor Texans fell short in the State Senate.

The measure would categorize re-assignment surgery and hormone therapy delivered to children under 18 as criminal "child abuse".

Opponents called the restrictions callous, discriminatory, and life-threatening.

"It's very clear that the proponents of this bill do not like the transgender families and what they are living through," said Houston State Senator John Whitmire.

"I don't want to drive anymore kids underground and I don't understand this phenomenon and I don't think any of us do either, and the last place we should be passing laws is over stuff we don't understand that profoundly effects people who do understand it because they are living it," said State Senator Nathan Johnson of Dallas.


But the measure's author, Lubbock State Senator Charles Perry, insisted the restrictions would prevent irreparable damage for Texans too young to fully understand the often irreversible consequences of physiological transition.

"I sympathize, I empathize and also pray for and I also hurt for those examples, but we do not have the right to be God when it comes to creation," said Perry.

In other action, the upper chamber approved Houston Senator Paul Bettencourt's ban on the listing of a post office box as a legal residence when Texans register to vote.

"It's simply a bill to stop, in my (Harris) county's case, 4,880 people registering at a private P.O. Box and that's simply not what the voter rolls intended to be," said Bettencourt.

And in a legislative proposal drawing unanimous support, the Texas Senate voted to rename 20 geographical locations in the Lone Star State bearing the racially offensive word "Negro", among them "Negrohead Lake" near Baytown.

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"It means a lot to me and other African-Americans in the state of Texas. It speaks loudly about what we are really all about and what we stand for in this chamber," said State Senator Boris Miles of Houston.

Miles also gained unanimous Senate approval for his police reform banning the use of "choke holds" by all Texas peace officers.


The measure now moves to the Texas House for consideration.