AUSTIN (KXAN) — Advocates for transgender rights gathered inside the Texas Capitol overnight after the end of a hearing into a bill that would ban minors from receiving medical treatment to change their gender.
HB 1686 by State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) would prohibit physicians from providing gender transition surgery or “puberty blockers” to Texans under 18. It would also exempt that care from coverage under state health insurance plans.
“This whole cottage industry operates without self regulation to the detriment of vulnerable children,” Rep. Oliverson tweeted Monday.
The House Committee on Public Health hearing ended just after 12 a.m. Tuesday. Some of the people signed up to testify told KXAN they didn’t get to speak because the hearing wrapped.
The House committee clerk on Monday told KXAN 372 people signed up to testify.
After the hearing, protesters gathered for a brief rally and “die-in”. They used their bodies to symbolize how many transgender lives could be lost if the bill were to become law, according to Ash Hall, policy and advocacy strategist for LGBTQ+ rights, ACLU Texas.