Gov. Abbott brings anti-LGBTQ activism to kick-off “special discrimination session” this Tuesday

Republican Texas Speaker Joe Straus: “I’m disgusted by all this…I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.”

Anti-trans legislation could put lives at risk, drain $3 billion from Texas state economy

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released “What Texas’ Special Session Means For LGBTQ Texans,” a video highlighting Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s “special discrimination session” against the transgender community. The video is available ahead of the start to the special session on July 18th and forecasts what would be a dangerous, anti-LGBTQ agenda at the Texas State Capitol.

Anti-LGBTQ activists already this year, including Gov. Abbott, have advocated for legislation that openly targets and discriminates against transgender Texas, barring them from public accommodations in accordance with their gender identity. Not only has a so-called “bathroom bill” been opposed by the majority of Texans and big businesses across the country, but it could drain about $3 billion from the state’s economy while also putting the safety of transgender Texans in jeopardy. Even the Speaker of the Texas House, a Republican, voiced his opposition to the anti-trans bills – saying he was “disgusted by all this” and did not “a suicide of a single Texan on [his] hands.”

[GLAAD VIDEO: What Texas’ Special Session Means For LGBTQ Texans]

“Governor Greg Abbott is ignoring calls from elected officials on both sides of the aisle, Texas’ biggest corporations, and young people living across the state to force his own personal anti-LGBTQ agenda. If the governor moves forward with this harmful legislation against transgender Texans, then LGBTQ people, businesses, and fair-minded Texans will respond in Texas style – Big,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Transgender Texans have experienced harassment and threats because of state officials directly targeting them this last session and any further attacks will only cement Governor Abbott’s legacy as turning Texas into a state that harms its most marginalized citizens.”

This anti-LGBTQ special session follows what can only be described as a “discrimination session” against marginalized communities across the state. From shoving through HB 3859 – which allows adoption agencies to now use so-called “religious exemptions” as a weapon to deny LGBTQ families the ability to adopt a child – to the signing a ban on “sanctuary cities” into law, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature have promoted an out-of-touch agenda at the expense of the state’s most vulnerable.

Since the start of this year’s session, GLAAD has been on the ground fighting the onslaught of anti-LGBTQ legislation in Texas. This spring, GLAAD coordinated with Equality Texas and Texas Freedom Network to hold numerous “Students Against Hate” rallies on college campuses across the state where Texans came together to share their voice and fight back against the anti-LGBTQ bills being perused at the statehouse. Further, GLAAD teamed up with Equality Texas, The Ally Coalition, and more than 160 leading artists, entertainers, and influencers to release an open letter opposing anti-LGBTQ bills, including the so-called “bathroom bill,” that threatened to harm LGBTQ Texas. The letter demonstrated widespread disapproval for dangerous legislation.