As we knew, it didn’t take long for the Texas Republican Party to submit their list of Anti-LGBTQ-Anti-Transgender Discriminatory hate bills today with submissions for the Special Session called by Governor Abbott. I’m going to list brief descriptions with links to the bills filed today displaying the GOP’s views of discrimination and control that Governor Abbott wants to pass which would override preexisting ordinances in Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Plano and prevent any new local ordinances in the future.
1st HB 46 by Rep. Simmons would prohibit all political subdivisions, including municipalities, school districts, and state colleges & universities, from adopting or enforcing any ordinances or policies that protect transgender people in bathrooms or changing facilities.
2nd HB 50 by Rep. Simmons is similar to HB 46, but relates only to school districts by prohibiting them from adopting or enforcing policies that protect transgender students in bathrooms or changing facilities.
3rd and WORST OF ALL is SB 23! SB 23 by Sen. Hall is a statewide preemption bill that would prohibit counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing laws or ordinances that prohibit discrimination on a basis not protected in state law, and would void all current nondiscrimination ordinances such as those adopted by Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Plano.
It’s amazing to me that this would be possible in a country where people are supposed to be able to live freely to be who they are. But that doesn’t seem to be the county we are living in right now.
And what’s worse is Governor Abbott and the Republican Party are spearheading some of the worst discriminatory legislation in the history of the State of Texas. Hall’s SB 23 would take away any local protections we have to keep the most vulnerable transgender citizens and trans students safe in public and in our schools. In 2016, the deaths of 27 transgender people were reported. That’s a rate of more than two transgender people killed every month. This number does not include transgender people whose deaths were not reported due to misgendering in police reports, news stories, and sometimes by the victim’s family. To date in 2017, 15 transgender women have been murdered in the United States! Sadly, one of the typical things that ties the majority of these murders together is that they have happened in the South! Most murders have taken place in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and the state that consistently has a horrendous number of murders is Louisiana, mainly in New Orleans.
Here is a list from the Human Rights Campaign website of the transgender women killed so far this year:
- Mesha Caldwell, 41, a black transgender woman from Canton, Mississippi, was found shot to death the evening of January 4. The murder is still under investigation and no suspects have been arrested.
- Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28, an American Indian woman who identified as transgender and two-spirit, was found dead in her apartment in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A suspect, 25-year-old Joshua Rayvon LeClaire, has been arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter in connection with her death.
- JoJo Striker, 23, a transgender woman, was found killed in Toledo, Ohio, on February 8. Striker’s mother, Shanda Striker, described her as “funny and entertaining” and said her family loved her deeply.
- Tiara Richmond, also known as Keke Collier, 24, was fatally shot in Chicago on the morning of February 21. A transgender woman of color, she was found dead on the same street as two other transgender women that were killed in 2012.
- Chyna Doll Dupree, 31, a Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in New Orleans on February 25. Chyna was a much-loved performer in the ballroom community who was visiting friends and family in New Orleans at the time of her death.
- Ciara McElveen, 26, a transgender woman of color, was stabbed to death in New Orleans on February 27. McElveen did outreach for the homeless community. As of February 28, 2017, HRC has tracked at least nine murders of transgender people in Louisiana since 2013.
- Jaquarrius Holland, 18, was shot to death in Monroe, Louisiana, on February 19. One friend, Chesna Littleberry, told Mic that Holland was “like a younger sister” and had helped her learn to accept herself.
- Alphonza Watson, 38, was shot and killed in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 22. Watson’s mother said her daughter was “the sunshine of our family,” a “caring, passionate” person who loved cooking and gardening.
- Chay Reed, 28, a transgender woman of color, was shot and killed on April 21 in Miami. Reed’s longtime friend told Mic about their longtime friendship — describing her as someone who was full of life and beloved by many.
- Kenneth Bostick, 59, was found with severe injuries on a Manhattan sidewalk, he later died of his injuries. Few details about Bostick’s life have been reported, he is believed to have been homeless at the time he was attacked.*
- Sherrell Faulkner, 46, a transgender woman of color died on May 16, of injuries sustained during an attack on November 30, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Police are treating the assault as a homicide. No arrests have been made at this point.
- Kenne McFadden, 27, was found in the San Antonio River on April 9. Police believe she was pushed into the river, which runs through downtown San Antonio. A high-school friend of McFadden described her to local media as assertive, charismatic and lovable. No arrests have been made, but police said they have a person of interest in custody.
- Kendra Marie Adams, 28, was found in a building that was under construction and had burns on her body on June 13. Police have charged Michael Davis, 45, with Adams’ murder. Adams also went by Josie Berrios, the name used in initial media reports on her death.
- Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17, was shot and killed in Athens, Georgia on June 25 during an altercation in an apartment parking lot. In an online obituary, friends remembered Barrin as a “social butterfly” and an “amazing girl” who “loved to make people laugh.”
- Ebony Morgan, 28, was shot multiple times in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the early morning of July 2. Morgan was transferred to a local hospital where she succembed to her injuries. Authorities have named Kenneth Allen Kelly Jr. as a person of interest in the case.
So now we wait as more Anti-LGBTQ bills are filed before the session starts July, 18th. The Texas GOP is trying to make hate and discrimination the “New Normal” in the state of Texas. Governor Abbott already signed SB 4 the “Sanctuary City-Show Me Your Papers” law which is set to go into effect September 1st. The cities of Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso and organizations like the ACLU, MALDEF and many more have already sued the state in Federal District Court in San Antonio and we are waiting to hear if this discriminatory law will be stopped before September 1, 2017.
Hall’s SB 23 would override existing ordinances that try to keep the transgender community safe. This is the least that can be done by the cities, yet Governor Abbott and the Republican party want complete control over cities and counties to be able to pass ordinances that protect any group. Hall and his cronies want this to be the “New Normal” to keep cities “ from adopting or enforcing laws or ordinances that prohibit discrimination on a basis not protected in state law.” At what point does this become acceptable to anyone? This is not NORMAL! This is when the state becomes “Big Brother” in deciding who should have rights and protections. The T in LGBTQ stands for Transgender for those Republicans that might not know that. A transgender Texan should have all of the rights and protections granted any other Texan.
We will not stay silent! We will be at the capitol every day fighting these bills in the upcoming special session. We will be at the office of every state Republican congressman and senator at the capitol trying to bring about these laws of hate, discrimination, bigotry which will incite violence.
When the State of Texas takes away the rights of our cities in Texas to protect their own citizens from bigotry, hate and murder because of laws written by a party of ignorance we must engage with every source we have. When the GOP, a party that chooses to ignore the constant threats on transgender citizens, then it is only a matter of time before the Republican party goes further in taking away rights of other citizens in Texas. Who will be next? This must be stopped! Volunteer and click on this link to CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE DAILY STARTING TODAY!