“Ban the Bible” Style Bills are Back! But with a Twist: Focus on Children and Erasing Women

February 9, 2023

Every session, Democrat state legislators file highly controversial bills we call “#BanTheBibleBills” that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity while simultaneously denying religious freedom. So far, approximately 30 “#BanTheBibleBills” have been filed and we expect more to come. This session there is a strong focus on introducing these topics to kids and on erasing women.

Representative Terry Meza filed a bill that would force schools to adopt a sexual orientation and gender identity policy. This bill would codify many school policies that Texas Values has opposed at individual school districts in the past. HB 1945 by Representative Jon Rosenthal would force schools to provide children access to websites with LGBT content.

There is also a greater focus on bills giving special rights based on gender identity that could basically erase women from athletic opportunities and threaten their privacy. There are at least two bills that would address a person being able to change their sex on their birth certificate. (HB 1102 Rosenthal and HB 1020 Ron Reynolds). Rep. Ron Reynolds filed a bill, HB 850, that gives special privileges based on “gender expression” which is merely “having or being perceived as having a gender-related identity… different from that commonly associated with the individual’s actual or perceived sex.” In this bill, you could not deny a public accommodation, such as a facility or housing based on “gender expression.” This could mean allowing men “expressing” as women to enter women’s locker rooms, restrooms, and women only housing shelters. Moreover, the bill could be used to allow men “expressing” as women to play women’s sports and steal other Title IX rights given to women. While we have seen bills before with gender identity, “gender expression” is a new dangerous term that is not legally or scientifically defined and should not be added to law.

Even more concerning is HB 851, also filed by Representative Ron Reynolds, that seeks to create a government and tax payer funded task force to “study the legal and societal barriers to equality for transgender persons.” The study would recommend state actions that need to be taken in regards to several issues that include education and medicine (without specifying if the “transgender medical issues” apply to adults or children).

There are many other concerning “#BanTheBibleBills” that redefine marriage or violate religious liberty. Now that House committees have been assigned it is important that none of these bills receive a public hearing in either the Texas Senate or Texas House. To see a list of the concerning bills so far, please look below:

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