88th LegislatureIssuesState SenateStatewide NewsBans on Child Gender Modification, Transgender Athletes in Women’s Sports Passed in Texas Senate

The two priority bills seek to end the practice of child gender modification and prevent biological males from competing in women's collegiate sports.
March 29, 2023
The Senate continued to assert itself as the more decisive chamber in the Texas Legislature by passing two priority bills.

Senate Bills (SB) 14 and 15 both made Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s priority list this year and cover topics that have gained national attention: transgender athletes in women’s sports and the banning of gender modification for minors.

Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Gavelston) filed SB 15, which would see the ban on biological males from participating in female-only athletic activities extended to the collegiate level. Sex is determined in the bill as the biological sex that is present on the student’s birth certificate.

Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) introduced SB 14, which garnered a wide range of opinions during its committee hearing last week. If enacted, it would prohibit medical doctors and professionals from administering puberty blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones, or performing surgeries, to children under 18 years old for the purpose of gender transitioning.

“Medically necessary” was a phrase used by both supporters and opponents to Campbell’s bill during the testimony in committee. Opponents often presented the claim that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are reversible; as of now, there is limited available data on the long-term effects of those treatments, and the “gender affirming” model of care is still relatively new to the scientific literature. Supporters and detransitioners argued their case as reports of teenage “gender dysphoria” and transgender-identifying youth continue to rise.

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Campbell took the Senate floor to publicly state her continued support for her bill. “Delusion is a false belief about an external reality despite evidence they still hold … gender dysphoria in a child does not happen in isolation.” she said.

“Gender dysphoria is a temporary condition… that more and more than ends in a mutilating surgery,” Campbell asserted. “The children need counseling and love, not blades and drugs.”

There are amendments that were added on the floor, notably an amendment proposed by Campbell that would allow children under 18 currently on gender modification medications for 90 days prior to the bill becoming law to remain on the medications. That amendment was passed without objection.

SB 14 passed with a vote of 19 to 12 and will require a third vote before it reaches the House. SB 15 passed with a vote of 19 to 10.


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Cameron Abrams

Cameron Abrams is a reporter for The Texan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tabor College and a Master’s Degree from University of the Pacific, Cameron is finishing his doctoral studies where his research focuses on the postmodern philosophical influences in education. In his free time, you will find him listening to a podcast while training for an endurance running event.