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Friday, June 2, 2023

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A Wisconsin group criticizes two of its members of Congress, a new report says the Phoenix area cannot meet its groundwater demands, and Nevada's sporting community sends its priorities to the governor.

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The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

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Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

ACLU Plans Lawsuit If TX Anti-Trans Bills Become Law

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Monday, May 22, 2023   

The culture war over transgender identity is spreading in GOP-led states, and Texas is among those passing the harshest laws.

The Human Rights Campaign said almost 30% of trans youth live in states that have passed bans on gender-affirming care.

Last week, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 14, which essentially bans such care for kids under 18.

Brian Klosterboer, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said the ban allows trans teens already receiving hormone therapy to temporarily continue, but requires they "wean" themselves off the treatments.

"We are preparing a lawsuit against SB 14, the bill that bans health care for transgender youth," Klosterboer stated. "We will be taking the state to court if Abbott signs that bill into law."

Some "blue" states are moving in the opposite direction from Texas, including neighboring Colorado, which passed its own legislation protecting people's access to reproductive health services and facilities.

Senate Bill 14 was authored by Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, who argued youth under 18 who receive gender-affirming treatments may regret their decision at a later age.

Meanwhile, the Texas House last week gave initial approval to Senate Bill 12, originally aimed at restricting children from seeing drag performances, but as worded now, gives officials the power to target any performance.

Klosterboer contended the law is overly broad, and censors free expression by threatening to ban and criminalize any performance which "appeals to the prurient interest in sex," without defining the term.

"And even though drag has been explicitly removed from the bill, the fact that the definitions are so expansive, and that it comes with criminal penalties, will have a major effect on free expression in our state," Klosterboer asserted.

Texas is home to one of the largest trans communities in the country, including an estimated 30,000 teens between ages 13 and 17.


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