Texas Values: Top Stories of 2023

December 28, 2023

Austin, TX – December 28, 2023: As 2023 draws to a close, it is a time of reflection for many, and Texas Values is no different. As is our custom each year, we have created a list with some of the biggest headlines around the state and nation that happened in, or directly impacted, Texas.

Jonathan Saenz, President and attorney for Texas Values released this statement:

“In Texas, you don’t mess with faith, family or freedom. And, in 2023, the issues of protecting family and freedom took center stage this year for Texans, and Texas Values was right there every step of the way to help support Texans for these timeless principles. Our “Fight for Texas” work of legal and policy work, and our weekly radio show — carried on two radio stations and over 200,000 social media followers – and the number of educational events held, we have continued our mission of upholding the issues of faith, family, and freedom for Judeo-Christian values in Texas.”  

  • Passed Save Women’s Sports ActThe Save Women’s Sports Act (SB 15) protects women from men competing in women’s sports at the collegiate level and ensures that Texas women college athletes do not lose their scholarships, roster spots, and future careers. SB 15 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 15. More information can be found here.
  • Riley Gaines Rises To Lead Save Women’s Sports issue in Texas and nationwide: NCAA Champion swimmer Riley Gaines, who was forced to compete against male swimmer Will/Lia Thomas, took her own personal experience and transformed it into a state-by-state and nationwide public stand against men competing and women’s sports. With the guidance of Texas Values, Riley helped lead the issue to victory in Texas (testifying for such legislation in the Texas House and Texas Senate). Riley also appeared on numerous national and local media interviews and dominated social media, as well as speaking at numerous events around the country, including at least 4 in Texas in 2023.
  • Banned Child Gender Modification in Children: The Ban on Child Gender Modification Bill (SB 14) prohibits procedures and treatments for gender transitioning, gender reassignment, or gender dysphoria and on the use of public money or public assistance to provide those procedures or treatments. SB 14 was signed into law by Governor Abbott on June 15. More information can be found here.
  • Gov. Abbott Leads Texas To Focus on Faith and Family Issues: Gov. Greg Abbott used his double-digit victory over Beto O’Rourke at the end of 2022 as a springboard for focusing on passing landmark legislation. Gov. Abbott was out front early and often on the Save Women’s Sports issue, school choice and faith and family priority issues. Gov. Abbott hosted Riley Gaines at the Governor’s Mansion and a public Save Women’s Sports bill signing at Texas Women’s University and held numerous events around Texas on the issue of school choice. Gov. Abbott also held bill signing ceremonies on key pro-life legislation and a bill to protect kids from harmful gender transition surgeries and public blockers
  • Stopped Sexually Explicit Drag Queen Shows and Other Performances in Front of Children: The Ban on Drag Queen Shows for Kids Bill (SB 12) protects children from sexually oriented performances and restricts those performances on the premises of a commerical enterprise, on public property, or in the presence of an individual younger than 18 years of age. SB 12 was signed into law by Governor Abbott on June 18. More information can be found here.
  • Science Textbook Victory at the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE): Out of all of the books submitted by publishers for review by SBOE, the most egregious textbook was a Biology book by the well-known publisher McGraw Hill. This book contained an entire chapter on primate evolution with several assertions that humans evolved from monkeys. The chapter discussed how humans are members of the “great ape family” and asked students when humans appeared in primate lineage. The chapter talks about how humans “split off” from African apes and tries to explain why humans walk up straight. The book also contained images comparing a human skeleton to a chimpanzee skeleton, men who look like monkeys, and a chart linking several different types of monkeys to the ancestry of a little girl. The SBOE voted 13-1 to move forward with a plan to keep pornographic books out of school libraries in the state of Texas. SBOE regects radical monkey evolution theories in textbooks More information can be found here.
  • SBOE Approved Standards to Keep Sexually Explicit Books Out of School Libraries: The SBOE voted 13-1 to move forward with a plan to keep pornographic books out of school libraries in the state of Texas; keeping in alignment with The READER Act (HB 900) which protects children from sexually explicit books in school libraries which just passed this legislative session.
  • Stand for Biological Definition of Boys and Girls at Texas Public School in Fort Worth: LGBT activists demanded that girls identifying as boys be allowed in the all-boys choir and vice versa at a Texas public school. After school board meetings, it was determined that boys and girls choirs continue to be boys & girls, respectively, based on gender as established on the birth certificate.

Texas Values will continue to fiercely advocate for policies relating to faith, family, and freedom. Our staff remains available to the media to discuss these issues. Call or email us at the contact information above.


About Texas Values  

Texas Values is the largest statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at

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