LGBT+ protesters were forcibly restrained and detained as hundreds of them entered the Texas Capitol in Austin to protest a bill that seeks to ban gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth.
LGBT+ civil rights activists led heated protests inside the Texas State House throughout the day before being forced out as senators were set to vote on Senate Bill 14 (SB 14).
SB 14 would prohibit the provision of gender transition, gender reassignment, or gender dysphoria procedures and treatment through the use of public money or public assistance to transgender children.
Video captured from the gallery of the Texas Capitol House showed police officers forcibly holding a person down while other protesters chanted slogans.
Protests began as soon as the bill was introduced, prompting House Speaker Dan Phelan to order the protesters evicted from the chamber.
“What do we want? Trans rights. When do we want it? Now,” the protesters chanted.
One of the leading activists was arrested and another was banned for a year from Capitol grounds, the Courthouse News Service reported.
The Texas Transgender Education Network, one of the advocacy groups spearheading the protest, said its board member, Sofía Sepúlveda, was banned from the state Capitol for a year for displaying a banner in the main rotunda of the building.
“Let trans kids grow up,” the sign read.
“I am a proud Texan, a Mexican American, and a transgender woman, and I deserve to have my voice heard like every other Texan investing in the policies that shape our lives,” Sepúlveda said in a press release.
“Rules matter in the Texas House of Representatives,” Phelan said in a tweet Tuesday night. “Today’s outbursts in the gallery were a violation of decorum and continued after I warned that such behavior would not be tolerated. There will always be different perspectives, but in our chamber, we will debate those differences respectfully.”
Medical groups have said that blocking transgender children’s access to puberty blockers and hormone therapy is critical for those who already face a higher risk of depression and suicide than others.
The bill, which has already passed the state Senate, was sent back to a House committee after the protests, KEYE-TV reported. A substitute bill was considered and passed by a 6-5 vote.
The bill will reportedly be back on the floor on Thursday.