87th Legislature88th LegislatureState HouseState SenateDan Patrick Accuses Lawmaker of ‘Revisionist History’ Blaming Senate for Child Gender Modification Ban Failure

The lieutenant governor blasted a state representative’s claim placing blame on the senate for failing to pass a ban on child gender modification.
January 19, 2023
The 88th session of the Texas Legislature is barely underway and tension is already starting to heat up between members of the two legislative chambers.

Early this week, a recording of a conversation was posted between State Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) and other unidentified activists discussing legislation that failed to pass during the previous session to ban child gender modification practices — a priority issue for the Republican Party of Texas.

In the recording, Toth can be heard assigning blame for the legislation’s failure to pass to the “Big Three,” a reference to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), but especially the Senate.

“You can’t just blame the House for this,” Toth can be heard stating. “The reality is, if they — the Big Three — wanted it, they would have gotten it.”

Toth continued to blame Abbott and Patrick for not adding the issue to the three subsequent special sessions called that year, and further blamed the Senate’s actions during the general session, saying they passed it “ridiculously late.”

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This prompted a heated rebuttal from Patrick, who excoriated Toth in a press release accusing Toth of “misdirection” and “revisionist history.”

Patrick blasted what he called Toth’s “twisted narrative,” pointing to legislation that passed the Senate in late April and further elaborating how neither that bill or similar legislation survived the House.

“Rep. Toth has a reputation for blaming others to cover up his own shortcomings on getting his bills passed,” Patrick wrote. “He pulled the same stunt last session by blaming the Senate and others for his failure to pass his Critical Race Theory bill. In the end, it was the Senate that saved and finally passed that legislation.

Patrick concluded that Toth’s “baseless allegations and misplaced blame have cost him any shred of credibility.”

The legislation Patrick referred to, Senate Bill 1646 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), would have prohibited children from being given puberty-suppressing drugs or undergoing surgical operations for the purpose of gender reassignment. It was finally passed by the Senate on April 29, 2021.

Recently, Rep. Brian Harrison (R-Midlothian) filed a bill for this session to prevent tax dollars from being used to pay for any child gender modification procedures, which is one of many bills expected to be filed this session relating to the ban on child gender modification.

Whether Patrick’s stern response is a preview of how the two chambers will interact this session remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Patrick will deliver a forceful defense of the Senate’s record under his administration.

Update: Toth released a statement to The Texan that reads, “Let me tell you about our Lt. Governor. During my first session, then Senator Patrick and I passed the CSCOPE Transparency Act, which led to the eventual elimination of this common core revisionist history in our classrooms. I spent significant time campaigning for him in Montgomery County to help elect a bold conservative to that statewide office in 2014.”

“The Bible says, ‘Iron sharpens iron,’ and that’s the kind of working relationship I’m honored to have with Lt. Governor Patrick. We fought hard to ban Critical Race Theory in Texas classrooms and were triumphant despite several outside attempts to sabotage the effort. In fact, those efforts to divide us then remind me of what is happening now. I’m confident that nothing will shake either my own or Lt. Gov. Patrick’s resolve to pass a ban on child genital mutilation this year.”

Correction: A previous version of this article restated the misnamed the representative who filed a bill to prevent tax dollars from being used to pay for child gender modification procedures. We regret the error.


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Matt Stringer

Matt Stringer is a reporter for The Texan who writes about all things government, politics, and public policy. He graduated from Odessa College with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Leadership. In his free time, you will find him in the great outdoors, usually in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend region of Southwest Texas.