Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 95: Bullies and Tommy Williams (is that redundant?)

Today is the 95th day of the 82nd regular session of the Texas Legislature. The Senate reconvened at 8 am, the House will reconvene at 10 am.

SB 205, by Sen. John Whitmire (D - Houston) will be heard this morning in the Senate Education Committee. Currently school districts must create student codes of conduct which are designed, in part, to discourage bullying. Whitmire's bill specifies requirements for the anti-bullying portions of those codes, while still allowing a great deal of leeway for the district (read LQ's original review of SB 205).

Equality Texas reports that SB 723 by Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands), was voted out of the Senate Jurisprudence Committee at a quick meeting at Sen. Harris' desk yesterday. SB 723 would eliminate a court ordered "sex change" from the list of identifying documents acceptable for applying for a marriage license. The bill is a blatant attack on the trans community. The next step will be for the bill to be placed on the intent calendar (a list of bills the Senate "intends" to vote on). Before that happens Williams will want to be sure he has the support of two thirds of the Senators. Because of a quirk of Senate Rules at least two thirds of the Senate must vote to begin debate on a bill. Currently the Republican majority in the Senate is one vote short of having two thirds of the seats. This means that for SB 723 to advance at least 1 Democratic Senator will have to support it.

If you believe that transgender people deserve the same dignity and respect as the cisgender population please call these Democratic Senators and tell them to oppose SB 723:

Mario Gallegos (512) 463-0106
Wendy Davis (512) 463-0110
Rodney G. Ellis (512) 463-0113
Kirk Watson (512) 463-0114
John Whitmire (512) 463-0115
Carlos I. Uresti (512) 463-0119
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (512) 463-0120
Judith Zaffirini (512) 463-0121
Royce West (512) 463-0123
Leticia R. Van de Putte (512) 463-0126
Eduardo A. (Eddie) Lucio, Jr. (512) 463-0127
José R. Rodríguez (512) 463-0129

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