AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas House of Representatives will debate a piece of legislation Wednesday that would strike the unconstitutional, unenforceable criminal offense of “homosexual conduct” from the state’s lawbooks.

House Bill 2055, introduced this session by Dallas Democratic Rep. Venton Jones, is now listed on Wednesday’s daily House calendar, which contains the list of new bills and resolutions scheduled by the Committee on Calendars for the full chamber to consider. The proposal would change two parts of state code related to LGBTQ+ relationships.

If this bill becomes law, it would first remove the phrase “that homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle” from the health and safety code, while it would also no longer make that a prosecutable crime in Texas.

Up until 2003, consensual sex between two people of the same gender was explicitly illegal in the state under the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law. That changed when the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the law in its ruling that year in the Lawrence v. Texas case. Six of the nine justices joined the court’s ruling, while three dissented, saying the Texas law should remain. Since that time, efforts to remove the state’s unlawful ban on gay sex have been unsuccessful.

The legislation cleared the House criminal jurisprudence committee by a unanimous vote on April 4, which allowed the bill to eventually get debated in the full chamber. At least 73 representatives, including several conservative Republicans, have now added their names onto it as coauthors. This signals that now, more than a majority of the Texas House supports the bill, creating hope among LGBTQ+ advocates that these changes may finally gain some traction.

Ricardo Martinez, the CEO of Equality Texas, released a statement Tuesday afternoon in support of the legislation.

“This bill is long past due. We are coming up on the 20-year anniversary of Lawrence v Texas, and the discriminatory law that the Supreme Court shot down still remains on the books,” Martinez said. “Privacy is a Texas value, and all Texans deserve to love in their own way without the government peering into their bedroom. Every day that this law remains on the books, it furthers the stigma against LGBTQ+ community. But there’s nothing taboo about our lives or the way we love. We deserve the same privacy as our Texas neighbors.”

A similar bill filed in the Texas Senate by a Democratic lawmaker has not yet been heard by the state affairs committee despite its referral there earlier this year.

Renewed debate on drag restrictions

On the same day the full House will debate HB 2055, one of its committees will take up legislation that already cleared the Senate and would enact new restrictions on a popular aspect of the LGBTQ+ community. Senate Bill 12 passed the upper chamber last month, sending it next to the House state affairs committee. The members of that committee will meet Wednesday at 8 a.m. to consider the proposal that would make it a crime to hold a drag show or any other performances considered overtly sexual if they’re in front of or could possibly be seen by minors.

The Senate’s version of the legislation would levy a penalty of up to $10,000 against any business owner hosting a “sexually oriented performance” with anyone who’s younger than 18 present. A city or county would also not be able to host these kinds of performances on public property, according to the proposal. The bill defines “sexually oriented performance” as a “male performer exhibiting as a female, or a female performer exhibiting as a male” who “appeals to the prurient interest in sex.”

Drag performers could also face a criminal misdemeanor charge if they perform in front of children or on public property, according to the language in SB 12.

Equality Texas, the state’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, along with drag performers throughout the state, are calling attention to Wednesday’s committee hearing and encouraging people to attend and share their opposition to the legislation.