State Senate Attempts to Covertly Add “Don’t Say Gay” Language to House Bill 890, Texas Freedom Network Responds

May 18, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Senate Committee on Education today heard HB 890. As passed by the Texas House on April 20, this legislation relates to the adoption of processes for school districts to hear and handle complaints.

When the Senate Committee on Education met to hear the bill today, an addition had been made that was not in previous versions stating that HB 890 would prohibit “instruction, guidance, activities, or programming regarding sexual orientation or gender identity” for students at every grade level.

Texas Freedom Network Senior Political Director Carisa Lopez (she/hers) issued the following response​:

“It is unconscionable that lawmakers would attempt to sneak a ‘Don’t Say Gay/Transgender’ requirement into a bill that was not at all crafted for this purpose and previously received bipartisan support. Today’s committee hearing occurred without any notice given of this cruel addition. Anti-LGBTQ legislation of this nature creates an unsafe, hostile learning environment for LGBTQIA+ students, families, and educators while violating the rights of all families and parents who support inclusivity.

“Our state government has a responsibility to serve our students, and instead of focusing on the rampant gun violence in our schools or the ongoing teacher shortage, our leaders are choosing to attack their own constituents. We will not let their attempts to use public education as a mechanism to harm and discriminate against LGBTQIA+ Texans go unnoticed.”

HB 890 was left pending in committee. If voted out of committee, it would go to the Senate floor for debate.