AUSTIN—City Council Members have approved a resolution making the state’s capital a sanctuary for gender-mutilation procedures and chemical castration, though the actual effect of the move may be limited.

The resolution was sent to the council by the city’s LGBTQ Quality of Life Advisory Commission. It states that the policy of the city will be that no city personnel, funds, or resources will be used to investigate, criminally prosecute, or impose administrative penalties on gender-confused individuals seeking gender-mutilative procedures or an individual or organization attempting to assist the individual to receive the procedures.

Even before the council meeting began, activists showed up outside city hall to voice their opposition.

One of those activists was Soren Aldaco, a destransitioner who, as a minor, was given cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. Shortly after her 19th birthday, she underwent a double mastectomy that nearly killed her. 

Now, she has filed a lawsuit against doctors who allegedly pressured her into adopting a transgender identity beginning at the age of 15.

“After experiencing no dearth of complications related to these treatments, I chose to make peace with my sex instead of fighting it,” said Aldaco. “I now have filed one of the first lawsuits of its kind, designed to hold the practitioners who transitioned me accountable.”

Aldaco also noted that state law—the recently enacted Senate Bill 14—prohibits gender mutilative procedures from being performed on minors, making the city’s actions largely moot. 

“This proposal is entirely ornamental given that SB 14 is not enforced criminally, and intentionally so,” said Aldaco, referring to the law’s enforcement by the Texas Medical Board, not local law enforcement.

”This proposal serves one purpose: to endorse experimental medicine that pathologize gender nonconformity and teaches children to internalize sexist stereotypes instead of uprooting them.”

Grant Miller, a student who detransitioned as a trans woman last November, agreed.

“Doctors across the country are putting children on blockers and hormones, they are chopping off breasts, and they are mutilating children with so-called bottom surgery,” said Miller.

“They are placing them on hard drugs, turning them into lifelong patients. The doctors behind these castrations belong in jail, but Texas merely seeks to take away their licenses. There is no such thing as a gendered soul or a trans child because no child was born in the wrong body.”

Michelle Evans, the incoming Williamson County GOP Chair and Round Rock Chapter Chair for Independent Women’s Network blasted the council members pushing the resolution. 

“The enforcement of this law rests not with any city department or agency, but rather the Texas Medical Board. Yet five woefully uninformed and ideologically driven council members find it somehow meaningful to profess their belief in the importance of these barbaric services and procedures, which had been soundly rejected by science and other civilized countries as ineffective and unethical,” said Evans.

Evans also read aloud a statement from State Rep. Brian Harrison (R–Midlothian) to the council, in which he warned that such actions “make it abundantly clear that this Council is unfit to manage the capital city of the greatest state in our country.”

“If this resolution passes, the State should also consider enacting legislation to make any council member who votes for resolutions like this personally liable for any costs associated with and harms resulting from the de facto sanctioning and facilitation of these illegal procedures, which result in the mutilation of children and cause them to needlessly become lifelong medical patients,” he added.

Following lengthy public comment, members approved the resolution on a 9-1 vote with only Council Member Mackenzie Kelly voting in opposition.

In response, Attorney General Ken Paxotn called the resolution “an empty political statement,” but vowed to ensure that SB 14 was enforced throughout the state.

“If the City of Austin refuses to follow the law and protect children, my office will consider every possible response to ensure compliance. Texas municipalities do not have the authority to pick and choose which state laws they will or will not abide by. The people of Texas have spoken, and Austin City Council must listen,” said Paxton.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens