A resolution passed by the City of Austin’s LGBTQ commission to make the city a sanctuary for gender mutilative surgeries and chemical castration for children will be considered by the Austin City Council next week. 

The city’s LGBTQ Quality of Life Advisory Commission unanimously approved the recommendation to the Austin City Council last week to protect “transgender and sexual identity.”

“WHEREAS, City Council recognizes that families and healthcare providers in Austin are living in uncertainty and fear, and many are considering moving away or have already moved to other states to access medical care for their children or to be able to practice medicine freely in accordance with professional and ethical standards,” reads the resolution. 

The resolution goes on to explain that “access to gender-affirming healthcare for youth is associated with better mental health outcomes and lower risks of suicide.” 

However, a report from The Heritage Foundation found that many studies showing a correlation between cross-sex hormone treatments and lower suicidality are flawed. 

There are many defects in this research. First, these studies rely upon surveys of trans-identifying adults recruited from trans support and advocacy groups, so they are not representative of all people who have experienced gender dysphoria as adolescents. In particular, these studies are less likely to include people who resolved these issues without medical intervention and people who had regret about receiving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.

The resolution goes on to explain 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. 

Additionally, it states that “except to the extent required by law, City personnel shall not enforce laws of other jurisdictions that impose criminal punishment, civil liability, administrative penalties, or professional sanctions” upon gender-confused individuals and others attempting to assist them. 

During the 88th Regular Legislative Session, Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 14, which prohibited gender mutilative procedures from being performed on minors. 

Republican State Rep. Tom Oliverson of Cypress, the House sponsor of the law in question, explained on social media that this law is enforced by the Texas Medical Board, not city personnel.  

“It will be interesting to see how that plays out since the TMB enforces #SB14 through anonymous complaints and only one penalty, permanent loss of medical license. BTW, practicing medicine without a license is a 3rd-degree felony in Texas,” Oliverson wrote on X.

Williamson County GOP Chair-Elect and Round Rock Chapter Chair for Independent Women’s Network, Michelle Evans, told Texas Scorecard that, “Five Austin City Council members are putting ideology above the safety and well-being of youth in the city. The Cass Review recently advised ‘extreme caution’ be taken with regard to the medicalization of gender dysphoria, and lawsuits from detransitioners across the U.S. have revealed damage and deep regret experienced by boys and girls who underwent these heinous procedures. The City of Austin should take heed in expressing support for these harmful and illegal services.”

Brady Gray, president of Texas Family Project, told Texas Scorecard that by the city council taking up the resolution they are undermining the law Texas has in place to protect children from these mutilative procedures.

“Texas has taken a strong stand to defend children. None stronger than that of Senate Bill 14, protecting kids from the barbaric practices of sex reassignment surgeries. Austin City Council’s attempts to undermine that protection goes beyond defiance of law and supports abuse and mutilation of minors in our state. Everyday it seems our nation moves further away from true civil discourse and further into a war for the soul of America and Texas,” explained Gray. “This move by the Austin City Council isn’t about what’s best for kids; it’s about what’s best for an evil movement that preys on children.”

The resolution is set to be taken up for consideration during the May 2 city council meeting. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.