Safe Democrat Splits From Party on Key Votes

by | May 17, 2023 | 2024 Elections, LGBTQ Rights, Politics

State Representative Shawn Thierry has been censured after voting with Republicans on multiple issues including on anti-LGBTQ+ priorities bills.

In our last legislative roundup we noted that Texas Republicans would offer crumbs of power to any Democrat willing to negotiate personal gain over party principles. There may be no more evident example of the unfortunate end results of a Republican-controlled state than the actions of State Representative Shawn Thierry this legislative session.

Representative Thierry has raised eyebrows on multiple questionable positions this session, including throwing behind the terrible book-banning bill, House Bill 900. But her most high-profile departure from Democratic values was when she voted for Senate Bill 14. SB 14 would ban transgender health care for minors – a long-sought priority of extreme right-wing Republicans.

Many democrats passionately fought against the bill including LGBTQ caucus vice chair, Jessica González, who gave an impassioned speech on the House floor. 

While a small handful of Democrats voted for the bill, Rep.Thierry took it further by giving a floor speech rebuking her party’s position and LGBTQ advocates. Previously, Rep.Thierry had campaigned on LGBTQ rights, but rumors have swirled she is taking these conservative votes to secure a chairmanship next session. Others have pointed to her close relationship with Republicans like Jared Patterson, who lead many of the Republican efforts on culture wars. While it’s unclear why Rep. Thierry has taken this position, what is clear is that she seems intent on doubling down by appearing on Fox News to stand by her vote. 

So far, Democrats seem eager to respond to her dangerous rhetoric. The Meyerland Area Democrats Club has already voted to censure state Rep. Thierry for her votes on multiple Republican priorities. We are told the Club is urging other Houston clubs and the Harris County Democratic Party to follow their lead.

Rep. Thierry has also fielded at least her first primary challenger and there are rumors there may be more coming. Ashton Woods, a Houston civil rights activist, has already created an ActBlue account. Woods is the co-founder and lead organizer for Black Lives Matter Houston and was appointed to the City of Houston’s first LGBT advisory board.

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