Over 4.6 Million Hours and 3 Million Calls by Republican Women in Second Half of 2022
The Political & Campaign Awards results for the third period (July – December 2022) are in. NFRW members racked up 4,608,026 hours and made 3,064,191 calls, totaling an astounding $138,240,780 volunteer dollars contributed to NRFW.
All the Bills for the 88th Legislate Session have now been filed.
Bill filing deadline with 1041 bills filed,
updated with all bills given topics.
Election Integrity Updates from today
Stop Sexualizing Kids endorsements. See the link below for the ability to look at the bills that have been filed.
3/13 – Senate State Affairs
SB15 – Women’s Sports
SB175 – Ban Taxpayer funded lobbying.
SB921 No preferential voting – support by Election Integrity Committee
Senate Priority Bill to End Public University Tenure Hears Testimony in Higher Education Committee
Both supporters and opponents voiced concerns over the end of college tenure, citing academic freedom, censorship, and the retention of professors in Texas.
CAMERON ABRAMS19 HOURS AGO
Sen. Brandon Creighton. (The Texan/Daniel Friend)
A bill that would end tenure for professors at public universities in Texas was heard in a Senate committee on Thursday.
Senate Bill (SB) 18, proposed by Sen. Brandon Creighton, is one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s 30 priority pieces of legislation.
Academic tenure is a coveted position for college professors, as it essentially gives them a permanent position for life at the university. A tenured professor is rarely fired, and even then, only in the most extreme cases of violation of institutional policies, immoral conduct, or failing to uphold publishing requirements.
At The Texan’s 88th Session Kickoff event in January, Patrick voiced his support for the bill and raised concerns about the ideological creep into many parts of public universities’ curricula.
“Getting all these professors who don’t like America, who don’t like Texas, who don’t like capitalism, who are trying to pollute the minds of young people going to college … I would like to see them go to another state; that would be a success,” Patrick said.
Patrick also mentioned his social media back-and-forth with the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, which claimed that without tenure, fewer professors would be interested in teaching in Texas.
“[I]f they are the type of professors we are going to attract, I don’t want to attract them,” Patrick countered. “There will be plenty of conservative professors who want to come here.”
The opposition voices at the public testimony over Creighton’s bill echoed UT’s concerns.
Many professors testified that if the bill passed, academic freedom would be at risk, recruitment of professors would suffer, and current professors would leave for other universities that do offer tenure.
A tenure-track professor from Sam Houston State University spoke in opposition, stating that if Texas ends tenure, then it would be unable to attract and retain faculty and students.
Andrea Gore, a tenured pharmacy professor from UT Austin, said ending tenure would have “catastrophic” consequences. She has written publicly about her opposition to this bill and claimed that tenure allows for long-term scientific research to take place.
Brian Evans of the American Association of University Professors at UT Austin also spoke in opposition, expressing concerns about how to pay professors to stay in Texas without tenure and stating that tenure protects professors of all viewpoints.
Supporters of the bill, like Tom Lindsay of Texas Public Policy Foundation, testified that tenured employees at universities lack accountability and that it’s “virtually impossible” to lose tenure.
Lindsay also brought attention to a 2015 incident where the dean of Texas Tech University was caught improperly changing grades of students and resigned as dean but remained on staff as a tenured professor.
“Which of our taxpayers want to pay for that?” Lindsay asked.
Adam Kissel, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, argued in support of the bill, citing concerns over self-censorship of young professors seeking a tenure position, the lack of quality control on research by tenured faculty, and that tenure can cause a lack in innovation.
The bill has been held in committee following the hearing and can be brought up to be voted on in future meetings.
Protests, Prayer Vigils Occupy Texas Capitol over Hearing on Ending Child Gender Modification
A committee over a bill to ban child gender modification had over 3,000 people sign up to give testimony and had protests that gained national attention.
CAMERON ABRAMSMARCH 30, 2023
A ban on child gender modification bill that spurred national attention had its opportunity to hear public testimony, bringing out its share of supporters, opponents, clip-worthy moments, and activist demonstrations.
Before the testimony began, at the inverted rotunda in the Texas Capitol, hundreds of pro-gender modification activists protested and advocated their cause.
Included at the protest was Jonathan Van Ness, a television host and gay rights activist, who advocated for “protecting kids” from the “so many who wish to harm us.” The pre-committee protest also hosted an ”indigenous” group performing a traditional dance and a “prayer vigil” with pro-transgender religious groups.
Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) introduced House Bill (HB) 1686 in an effort to end the use of gender modification treatments on children. During the introduction of the bill during the committee hearing, Oliverson made the point that this bill is not aimed at banning psychiatrists or therapists from conducting counseling with patients.
Additionally, the bill would allow the Texas Medical Board to revoke the license of a physician who provides gender modification treatments to minors.
A variety of different terms and phrases were used to express the experience of children who are potentially encountering the proposition to use gender modification treatments.
“Gender dysphoria” is one term, defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity.” It also defines “gender identity” as “a person’s basic internal sense of being a man, woman, and/or another gender (e.g., gender queer, gender fluid).”
The term “transgender,” according to the American Psychological Association, is “an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges defines that “gender-affirming care” is “hormone-related treatments that delay puberty or promote development of masculine or feminine sex characteristics” and states that such “interventions help transgender people align various aspects of their lives — emotional, interpersonal, and biological — with their gender identity.”
The public testimony brought a variety of different viewpoints and viral moments.
First to give testimony was Quentin Van Meter, a member of the American College of Pediatricians. During his testimony he advocated in support of the bill, citing examples of the failure of “gender medicine” in the research of John Money and the shutdown of the Tavistock clinic.
John Money is a figure often brought up by both supporters and opponents of gender modification treatments. He was an early sexologist and psychologist who initially garnered attention in the field of sexuality and gender for being the first person to use the word “gender” as opposed to “sex” when referring to the distinction between biological and behavioral differences between males and females.
Money founded the world’s first “gender-identity” clinic at John Hopkins University in 1966. His views on sexuality and gender led him in 1965 to begin a “gender-role” experiment on a pair of twin boys where one boy had normal male genitalia and the other, David Reimer, suffered genital injuries due to a botched circumcision.
To test his gender hypothesis, Money convinced Reimer’s parents to decide to involve David and his brother in a psychological experiment requiring David to undergo faux-sexual activities with his brother, chemical castration, and female genital reconstruction. David eventually returned to living as a man; both he and his brother committed suicide in the early 2000s.
The Tavistock clinic in London and its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) was shut down in 2022 after an independent review determined the clinic was not a “safe or viable long-term option.” The review, conducted by British medical consultant Dr. Hilary Cass, was highly critical of the clinic’s operations and assessments, citing “a lack of open discussion” on what was producing “gender incongruence” in children.
The review was initially commissioned by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service in response to a variety of issues, which included a “significant and sharp rise in referrals.” In 2009, there were approximately 50 referrals. That number spiked to 2,500 in 2020, with 4,600 children on the waiting list with a waiting time of over two years.
Cass highlighted that the referrals changed from being predominantly males to being predominantly females in addition to the fact that approximately one third of the referred children had Autism Spectrum Disorder or another “neurodiversity” issue. The review also cited a lack of clarity on the effectiveness of puberty-blocking drugs to “pause” puberty and their “intended outcomes.” Cass also noted that brain development could be “temporarily or permanently disrupted by puberty-blockers.”
With the report citing “major gaps in the research base underpinning the clinical management of children and young people with gender incongruence and gender dysphoria, including the appropriate approaches to assessment and treatment,” the decision was made to close the clinic.
The second witness giving testimony produced the most online-viral moment of the hearing.
Jessica Zwiener, an endocrinologist whose clinic offers hormone treatments for gender modification, spoke in opposition to the bill and engaged in a back-and-forth with Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) during the questioning period.
The verbal sparring initially began with Tinderholt asking Zwiener to define a “woman,” with Zwiener responding, “It sounds like an easy question, but it’s a complicated question.”
Tinderholt then asked Zwiener if a man could have a baby, to which Zwiener replied, “There are plenty of trangender men out there … a transgender man who feels like a man in his brain, who has taken testosterone, who looks like a man externally, who occupies a man role in society, who is treated as a man, whose driver’s license says that he is male, these people sometimes have babies.”
After the back-and-forth, Tinderholt concluded, “I respect the fact that you came here today. We fundamentally disagree.”
The now-familiar usage of the words male and female as “social constructs” traces back to feminist and gender theorist Judith Butler’s 1988 essay “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution,” which described gender as “performative” and “an identity tenuously constituted … through a stylized repetition of acts.”
The term “transexual” was first publicized by endocrinologist Harry Benjamin in his 1966 book ”The Transsexual Phenomenon,” where he presented a patient of his who had undergone “sex reassignment surgery.” Benjamin is commonly known in gender theory as ”the founding father of contemporary western transsexualism,” and his work examines “the interrelations between science, politics, and clinical intervention, with particular reference to issues concerning transsexuality and the ‘problem’ of heteronormativity.”
The use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones by doctors like Zwiener is often touted as being reversible or even “life-saving” for supposedly transgender children.
Studies have found that hormone treatments on children with gender dysphoria either did not report “statistically significant reductions,” are not scientifically rigorous in their design and “lack reasonable controls,” or “the studies themselves are not reliable, the results could be due to confounding, bias, or chance.” Evidence reviews of hormone treatments on children report findings that offer “limited evidence for the effectiveness and safety of gender-affirming hormones.”
Treatment can cause patients to “end with a decreased bone density” and brain development impairment. Suppressing puberty can permanently affect fertility and hormone treatments on female children have an impact visually, without surgery, on the composition and appearance of their genitalia due to the high testosterone treatments. Studies repeatedly suggest that there are either unknown outcomes or negative outcomes on children when being treated with cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers.
Dr. Megan Mooney, who testified on behalf of the Texas Psychological Association, was opposed to the bill on the grounds that her work administering gender modification care is “supported by a large number of research studies.” She went on to explain her reasons for opposition, stating that her experience with treating children and going over the scientific literature led her to understand that “trauma doesn’t cause kids to be trans, being trans causes them to be traumatized by others.”
Tinderholt engaged with Mooney during the questioning period to gain insight on how she would continue to treat children and practice psychological interventions with children with gender dysphoria. Mooney explained how she “assists in their [children’s] mental health care during their transition” and that she would continue providing that emotional and mental assistance even if the bill passed and recommended that parents and children go to another state to receive medical gender modification treatments if that was an option.
Tinderholt again asked if a man can have a baby, to which Mooney responded that a biological man cannot but “if you are talking about someone who identifies as a transgender man who has the biological appropriate profile of XX, uterus, eggs, that sort of thing, that person would be able to have a baby, but that’s really about gender identity as opposed to their biological sex.”
The “trauma” of children with gender dysphoria is often invoked as a driving force for child gender modification; some activists describe the choice as between a “live trans child or a dead child.”
Suicide among “trans-identified” youth is elevated compared to the general youth population. The statistic stems from information from the Tavistock clinic, which found the rate of completed trans-identified youth suicides to be 0.03 percent over a 10-year period or is 13 per 100,000 — 5.5 percent higher than youth who do not identify at transgender.
Some activisits suggest that trans-identified youth are at an alarmingly high risk of suicide, a narrative that uses online samples, self-reporting, and LGBT activist sources. Several of these claims also don’t differentiate between suicidal thoughts and non-suicidal self-harm, and serious suicide attempts and completed suicides.
Acccording to a recent study, suicidality is only slightly higher in trans-identifying youth when compared to other youth populations when they are referred for mental health issues. The commonality of trans-identifying youth to exhibit depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions are all known to contribute to the probability of suicide.
Almost 3,000 people signed up to testify on the bill. Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) said that the public testimony portal would remain open until Friday for people to register their opinion.
The debate and testimony in committee did not end until midnight, but the pro-gender modification activists continued their protests at the Capitol, labeling it a “die-in” where they chanted “Klick lies, kids die.”
The committee did not vote on the bill but will be able to in a future meeting.
Bans on Child Gender Modification, Transgender Athletes in Women’s Sports Passed in Texas Senate
The two priority bills seek to end the practice of child gender modification and prevent biological males from competing in women’s collegiate sports.
CAMERON ABRAMSMARCH 29, 2023
The Senate continued to assert itself as the more decisive chamber in the Texas Legislature by passing two priority bills.
Senate Bills (SB) 14 and 15 both made Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s priority list this year and cover topics that have gained national attention: transgender athletes in women’s sports and the banning of gender modification for minors.
Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Gavelston) filed SB 15, which would see the ban on biological males from participating in female-only athletic activities extended to the collegiate level. Sex is determined in the bill as the biological sex that is present on the student’s birth certificate.
Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) introduced SB 14, which garnered a wide range of opinions during its committee hearing last week. If enacted, it would prohibit medical doctors and professionals from administering puberty blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones, or performing surgeries, to children under 18 years old for the purpose of gender transitioning.
“Medically necessary” was a phrase used by both supporters and opponents to Campbell’s bill during the testimony in committee. Opponents often presented the claim that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are reversible; as of now, there is limited available data on the long-term effects of those treatments, and the “gender affirming” model of care is still relatively new to the scientific literature. Supporters and detransitioners argued their case as reports of teenage “gender dysphoria” and transgender-identifying youth continue to rise.
Campbell took the Senate floor to publicly state her continued support for her bill. “Delusion is a false belief about an external reality despite evidence they still hold … gender dysphoria in a child does not happen in isolation.” she said.
“Gender dysphoria is a temporary condition… that more and more than ends in a mutilating surgery,” Campbell asserted. “The children need counseling and love, not blades and drugs.”
There are amendments that were added on the floor, notably an amendment proposed by Campbell that would allow children under 18 currently on gender modification medications for 90 days prior to the bill becoming law to remain on the medications. That amendment was passed without objection.
SB 14 passed with a vote of 19 to 12 and will require a third vote before it reaches the House. SB 15 passed with a vote of 19 to 10.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Announces Campaign for Houston Mayor at Local Church
The well-known but controversial congresswoman will join six other Democrats vying to replace Sylvester Turner in the 2023 election.
HOLLY HANSENMARCH 28, 2023
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP).
Following months of rumors in the state’s most populous city, long-time U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) announced last weekend she is running for mayor of Houston.
Although she had not yet filed her intention to run with the Houston city secretary nor officially named a campaign treasurer, Urban Reform was first to report that during a visit to City Cathedral last Saturday Lee made her surprise announcement.
“I hope I’ve been a humble servant for you for 28 years, many of you in my district,” said Lee. “Sheila Jackson Lee wants to come home to be your mayor of the City of Houston.”
With her announcement, Lee joins a crowded race with six other announced Democrats vying to replace term-limited Mayor Sylvester Turner. Recent polling conducted by Ragnar Research earlier this month showed Texas Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) leading the pack at 22 percent but with more than half of respondents undecided.
Lee’s Congressional District 18 and Whitmire’s Texas Senate District 15 largely overlap, with both wrapping around the northern portion of Houston. Whitmire’s district is slightly larger, but Lee’s legendary ability to work her way into the spotlight makes her well-known across Houston and beyond.
First elected to Congress in 1995, Lee previously served as an at-large city council member and is well-known for garnering publicity.
At each year’s State of the Union address, Lee has successfully ordered staffers to arrive early to hold a spot for her along the main aisle so that she can personally speak to the president as he enters or exits the House chamber. Nearly ubiquitous at high-profile Houston press events, Lee even participated by phone in a recent press conference led by Mayor Turner to denounce a state takeover of the Houston Independent School District.
During her tenure in Congress, Lee has at times drawn negative publicity for high staff turnover, conflict with airlines as she traveled between Houston and Washington, and a staffer lawsuit that likely played into her resignation as chair of the House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee and Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in 2019. Despite the scandals, Lee handily won re-election in 2020 and 2022 with more than 72 percent of the vote.
Whitmire announced his candidacy last November in a launch event that included elected officials from both parties. His leadership as chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and outspoken critic of Harris County’s public safety spending priorities has garnered endorsements from the Houston Police Officer’s Union and the Harris County Deputies Organization.
Whitmire also touts endorsements from U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29) and several Houston pastors. He has thus far led in fundraising, but not all of his $10 million in Senate campaign funds will be transferred to his bmayoral campaign due to the city’s contribution limits.
Lee is not required to resign from Congress to be able to transfer congressional campaign funds, currently just over $400,000, to her mayoral campaign. As of publication she had not established a mayoral campaign website.
While Turner has sparred with Houston firefighters in public and in court regarding pay parity issues, Whitmire has championed their cause in the Legislature. This week, his bill requiring binding arbitration between firefighters and the city passed the Texas Senate in a 29 to 0 vote.
In the Ragnar poll, former Interim Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins trailed Whitmire at just eight percent, followed by former Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards at seven percent.
Sources familiar with the matter allege that Hollins met with Lee, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis (D-Pct. 1), and Bishop James Dixon last week to discuss Lee’s possible candidacy. Although Hollins has not commented on Lee’s announcement, he reportedly canceled a fundraiser scheduled for Tuesday night.
Other announced candidates include Houston City Council Member Robert Gallegos, former Metro chairman Gilbert Garcia, and attorney Lee Kaplan.
While some voters with Houston addresses will not be allowed to vote in city elections because they reside in extraterritorial jurisdictions, those in annexed areas such as Kingwood will be eligible.
City Cathedral has not issued a statement about Lee’s announcement. Churches with 501c3 non-profit status are prohibited from endorsing candidates, but they may speak about political issues and invite political candidates to speak, and pastors may participate in politics in their individual capacities.
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