Welcome to the Texas Legislative Round-up! We are here to break down the latest news from the Texas Legislative session in Austin. Every week, we’ll give you the honest take on the news that impacts you – without pretending it doesn’t.
Week in Review
“Dr. Hotze I know you’re a medical doctor and you’re a professional. I would just ask you to refrain from calling people pedophiles because I don’t think the doctors who have come before us today are pedophiles.” – Jose Menendez, Democrat state Senator
“Anybody that sexualizes children is a pedophile. The schools are full of pedophile teachers.” – Steve Hotze, a Republican activist.
Steve Hotze is a notorious conspiracy theorist, anti-LGBTQ activist, and Republican mega-donor. During just one of the anti-transgender bills heard this week in the Texas Senate, Hotze went on a hate-filled rant that demonstrated exactly why he is Dan Patrick’s former business partner and another Texas Republican darling.
It is telling that Hotze refocused his hateful anti-LGBTQ diatribe on public school teachers as well. Hotze is from Houston and just this week Abbott ordered a state takeover of Houston ISD. Public school teachers educate our children and, since Texas Republicans have failed to do anything on gun safety after Uvalde, increasingly have to put their lives at risk for them. Why is it that Republicans insist on treating them like criminals? Well, Hotze’s anti-LGBTQ tirade answers that for us: it’s about discrimination.
What to Watch
The Texas House has not been much better on discrimination. The same day multiple anti-transgender bills were heard in the senate, freshman Representative Mihaela Plesa (D) was forced to pull a harmless House resolution recognizing a gay married couple. If all eyes are on Speaker Dade Phelan to keep things civil this session – we are gearing up for a major letdown. Then again, he did make it legal for vigilantes to sue women who help those who need an abortion, so we should set our expectations lower than previous speakers.