Anti-transgender sports bill revived

Screw you, Harold Dutton.

Democratic state Rep. Harold Dutton on Friday revived and helped advance a bill that would restrict transgender students from participating in school sports, in what appears to be a retaliatory effort directed at members of his own party for sinking one of his bills.

Senate Bill 29, abhorred by fellow Democrats, would require the University Interscholastic League to force students to play on the sports teams based on their biological sex instead of their gender identity.

The bill, which already passed in the Senate, is a priority of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Dutton, who chairs the House Public Education committee, brought the legislation up for a committee vote on Tuesday, where it failed to advance, in large part, because Republican state Rep. Dan Huberty was absent that day and because Dutton himself abstained from voting for or against the bill.

On Thursday night, Dutton, who is from Houston, presented his own bill to the House floor that would give Texas Education Commissioner Michael Morath the ability to take over a district that fails to meet various academic standards and remove school board members. The bill is largely in response to a current legal battle between the Texas Education Agency and Houston ISD after the agency attempted to take over the district in 2019, but was blocked from moving forward by a temporary injunction that’s been upheld by the state’s Third Court of Appeals. Dutton’s alma mater in Houston ISD, Wheatley High School, has received an F rating for multiple years.

That bill, which is largely unpopular among Democrats, was blocked from being voted on after a fellow Houston Democrat Rep. Alma Allen sank it on a procedural technicality. Dutton and Allen sparred over the bill’s intent on the House floor with Allen arguing the bill would provide the TEA with too much latitude to take over an independent school district without providing any recourse for a district.

“When the school goes down, the community goes down and the developers move in,” she said as Dutton repeatedly rejected her assessment. “That’s the long effect of this bill passing.”

Dutton made several references to his bill’s failure on Friday morning in the House Public Education committee as he brought the transgender student athlete bill up for another vote.

“The bill that was killed last night affected far more children than this bill ever will. So as a consequence, the chair moves that Senate Bill 29 as substituted be reported favorably to the full House with the recommendation that it do pass,” he said.

He and Huberty, who is vice chair of the committee, then joined with the previous yes votes, giving SB 29 an 8-5 majority and advancing it out of committee. The bill must still be approved by the House before it can be sent to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature.

See here for the previous update about HB29, and here for Dutton’s TEA takeover bill. “Petty” and “vindictive” are the words that come to my mind about this; I’m sure others can think of more. I hadn’t even considered this scenario as a possible route to this bill getting revived, but here we are. That doesn’t mean it will pass – it still has to come to the House floor, and if Speaker Dade Phelan is true to his earlier words about not wanting to bash LGBTQ+ people anymore, then it can get lost on its way to the Calendars committee. We’ll see about that. In the meantime, let’s start gathering support for the next primary challenge to Dutton, hopefully without any ghost candidates this time. The Chron and the Texas Signal have more.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in That's our Lege and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Anti-transgender sports bill revived

  1. David Fagan says:

    An interesting thought would be: if college tuition is free for all, college sports would not be justified in competing for scholarships. College sports would have to be redefined, maybe separated from educational institutions.

  2. As Democrats, we all need to come together on this issue. Supporting the transgender community does not include abandoning common sense. I urge everyone to read my related post on – please see the link below:

  3. David Fagan says:

    Did someone say Gary O’Conner? He may have resigned, but the Texas Tribune says

    “However, the party said in a statement that they decided not to accept the resignation after taking the “last few days to reflect upon this incident.”

    I think the Democrat party should address O’Conner the same way the Democrats expect Republicans to address these issues.

    Sounds only fair, if that’s what Democrats stand for.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    I thought Greg’s writing was so spot on, I’m copy/pasting here:

    “As a moderate Democrat, I support equality and fairness for all groups, including transgender people. That said, it is important to emphasize that supporting one group cannot be allowed to extend into extreme positions that unjustly harm other groups. For instance, “women” sports are separated from “men” sports because the male anatomical body is usually much stronger than a women’s body (more muscle mass, etc.). It is blatantly unfair, and potentially dangerous, for adult biological males to compete against females in most contact sports (e.g. wrestling, boxing, football). To that end, Democrats should not support transgender people who were born male wanting to compete directly against women in contact sports. As far as the debate regarding transgender use of public restrooms, the common-sense approach is for ALL people to use the restroom that matches their CURRENT (not birth) physical anatomy. To be blunt, the “men” and “women” restroom signs are there to separate people based on genitalia, not gender identity. Once inside the restroom, a transgender person can choose to use a private stall, standing or sitting, in keeping with their individual gender identity. If properly communicated, this win/win compromise would respectfully resolve the issue without adversely affecting or offending any group. It is clear that, for numerous reasons, the vast majority of Americans still want our public restrooms to remain separate, not unisex.”

    Greg is absolutely right. Women have worked to create safe, women only spaces, and used Title IX to ensure that schools provide an equal number of scholarships to men and women….all that gets blown out of the water by allowing ‘trans’ women to compete with actual women. The safe space of women’s sports gets blown out, and the ‘inclusive, big tent’ party of the Democrats elevates a small percentage of their base ahead of HALF their base, that being, women Democrats.

    This all works great for me as a Trump supporting populist, because yes, it’s an easy wedge issue that resonates with lots of people, regardless of party. Let’s not forget that the HERO was defeated, not by Republicans, or conservatives, or Steve Hotze, but by black Houstonians, particularly by black church going Houstonians. We heard less about the Hispanic vote on that, but again, I suspect the church going, family oriented Hispanic folks probably contributed to the defeat of the HERO as well.

    When SOLID Democrat voters got a chance to vote, not for a person representing a party, but directly on an issue, they went with the same common sense that Greg has expressed right here.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    So I took the time to read some other missives on the Harris County Democrats website. Wow. I agreed with most of it, especially the one on illegal immigration. It basically calls for a return of the Trump immigration policy, of supporting legal immigration, but physically stopping the flood of illegal aliens, and working with AMLO and the Central American leaders to put a stop to it…..exactly what Trump did, after being fought against by both the Dems and his own party. He did it with the sheer force of his will, the wall building, getting MX to beef up its own borders, the MPP, and getting Guatemala to stop the caravans.

    The other was in support of the cop who shot a black girl in defense of….another black girl about to be stabbed.

    The problem for the writers of those pieces is, we’re at the point where anything Trump or an R did or proposed MUST be opposed, as an article of faith. The R’s are no better, really, it’s just that Trump actually planted the flag on these common sense, populist policies and positions, and in doing so, forced the Dems to call for the exact opposite……just like the transgender issue. The common sense position was staked out by the R’s, the D’s have no choice but to fight from the fringes.

    And this is why there’s gridlock in Washington, D.C. I haven’t really seen any Biden policy I approve of, because most of it seems to be undoing Trump’s policies, but if Biden did something common sense that benefited America and Americans, I’d support it.

  6. C.L. says:

    No one had/has more common sense than Donald Trump.

    The man has so much common sense that he, for example, with his foot firmly planted in his own mouth and his head firmly entrenched in his own ass, still managed to get impeached twice. Twice ! Now c’mon, tell me who else has managed that double feat ! And as icing on the cake, he managed to get booted not only off Twitter, but (f’in) Facebook as well. Beautiful.

    The man was/is a (stable) genius. I can think of no better person to emulate.

  7. Manny says:

    Years and years ago, in what is now Lakewood Church, women were allowed to go into the men’s bathroom.

    So like I have stated before, opinions are like anal openings; everyone is entitled to their opinion. That includes Greg Sumerlin.

  8. Pingback: Dragging Dutton – Off the Kuff

  9. Pingback: Not sure where we are with the anti-trans bills – Off the Kuff

Comments are closed.