This Friday, March 5, Senate Bill 14, which would ban gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors in Texas, is once again on the agenda for the Texas House of Representatives. And LGBTQ advocates will once again gather at the state Capitol to rally against its passage.
“Wear purple to identify with allies,” organizers urged.
“We are asking advocates to arrive [at the Capitol] at 9 a.m. and go to Room E2.1002 and hear the schedule for the day,” organizers with Equality Texas say at their “SB 14 Day of Resistance” website.
According to an email from Texas Freedom Network, there will be a safety training at 9:30 a.m, and “event/space/rally with legislators” at 10 a.m., a hot lunch provided at noon and a rally at 1 p.m. The location for the lunch and rally are yet to be determined; sign up
Debate on SB 14 is tentatively scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. RSVP here to get updates throughout tonight and tomorrow.
After at least one activist was arrested by Texas state troopers on Tuesday during a protest when SB 14 was first scheduled for a vote. Organizers said today that “The Austin Lawyers Guild will have legal observers around the Capitol tomorrow.” Observers will be wearing green hats. Anyone who needs legal support or has concerns to report can contact the guild at 512-817-4254.
Those who cannot attend the rally tomorrow are encouraged to contact their representatives to register their opposition to SB 14. You can call them by using the All In For Equality Coalition’s call system here or email your representative using the Texas Freedom Network’s email form here.
Debate and a vote on SB 14 was originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 2. But when the bill was announced, the protesters filling the House Gallery began to chant and sing, prompting Speaker Dade Phelan to order Texas State Troopers to clear the Gallery.
In the ensuing exodus, as protesters crowded the lobby outside the Gallery waiting to move down the stairs, a DPS trooper grabbed one of the protesters, Texas Freedom Network Organizing Director Adri Pérez, from behind, wrapped his arm around their upper body and then, with the help of two other officers, wrestled them to the ground where Pérez was handcuffed then taken away.
Shortly afterwards, after opponents of the bill raised a technical issue, prompting Phelan to delay the vote so the bill could be sent back to committee to have the error corrected. With that taken care of, SB 14 is due back on the House floor Friday for a vote.
— Tammye Nash