HB 1399, which would impact transgender children, unlikely to pass through Texas House

A bill set for a vote in the Texas House, which could impact transgender children, may not pass the chamber before a deadline set for Thursday.

Failure on a vote could be considered a win for transgender people and their supporters, but several Senate bills remain in play.

This bill is up against the deadline before it is dead this session. 

Transgender advocates said this bill, and others like it, are an attack on the LGBTQ community.

This session, the Texas House and Senate proposed multiple bills that would impact transgender Texans, with many of the bills directed toward children.

HB 1399 would prevent doctors from performing gender reassignment surgeries and would not allow doctors to give medications like puberty blockers. 

"They don't even understand these issues and should not be passing laws on this issue," said Amber Briggle, who is the mother of a transgender child.

Amber and Adam Briggle live in Denton and are parents to a transgender son. 

"I am still waiting for them to do something about ERCOT. I think they got better things to be doing with my tax dollars instead of telling us what we can and can’t do with our transgender child," Briggle added.

The bill was placed on the legislative calendar for Wednesday, but will likely not come up for a debate. 

The deadline for the House to pass bills on second reading is Thursday at midnight. 

"This is important because children need to be protected," said Jonathan Covey, who is director of policy for Texas Values.

Covey has been testifying at the Texas legislature in support of bills like this one, and ones passed by the state Senate, which calls transgender medical care child abuse, and another which prevents transgender children from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity.

In the past, current House Speaker Dade Phelan has gone on the record saying he is tired of bills "bashing the gay community," but has not spoken directly about this bill.

"We know that it is pretty far down on the calendar for Wednesday, which is today. It’s possible that it will come up, it’s probably not probable," Covey added. 

While the clock on HB 1399 is likely to run out, the Senate bills still have some life. 

"Senate bills have a slightly more flexible timeline," Covey said.

"I am anticipating the calls to legislators ramping up by anti-LGBTQ opponents to do something about SB29 and SB1646. I think the pressure is going to be on them," Briggle said.