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Univ. law clinic: UN must investigate Texas for banning minors from drag shows, trans surgeries

LGBTQ+ people ‘are experiencing a human rights crisis’ in the state

The University of Texas Law Human Rights Clinic filed a formal complaint with the United Nations late last month on behalf of several LGBTQ+ organizations.

The reason? The Lone Star State has, among other things, passed legislation which forbids “gender-affirming” care for minors and “restricts drag performances around children,” according to The Daily Texan.

The groups behind the letter include Equality Texas, the ACLU of Texas, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign.

The complaint is based on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says “individuals are born free and equal in dignity and rights, according to the D.T.

UT Law Human Rights Clinic Director Ariel Dulitzky said Texas’s laws “target LGBTQIA persons and their rights […] their right to equality, their right to express their own identity, their right to not be discriminated against, their right to decide their own health treatment.”

Specific complaints in the letter include Senate Bill 14 which “prohibits life-saving medical care for transgender children under the age of eighteen,” and SB 12 which bans “ ‘sexually oriented performances’ on public property that could be ‘reasonably expected to be viewed’ by someone under 18 or in a commercial establishment in the presence of someone under 18.”

MORE: ‘Non-binary’ polyamorous scholar says Texas politics makes faculty recruitment hard

Other allegedly problematic legislation includes:

— Senate Bill 15, which forbids transgender athletes from competing on teams that “align” with their gender identity.

— House Bill 900, which bans “educationally unsuitable, pervasively vulgar, and sexually explicit materials” in schools.

— Senate Bill 17, which bans DEI — diversity, equity, and inclusion — trainings for public university employees unless their “sole purpose” is to ensure “compliance with relevant federal and state laws.”

But what power does the UN actually have over Texas? Well, none.

Dulitzky (pictured) said that if the UN ultimately determines LGBTQ+ people in the state “are experiencing a human rights crisis,” it could “recommend [Texas] change or repeal certain bills.”

Equality Texas CEO Ricardo Martinez said “Failing to meet the minimum standards of international human rights treaties highlights the dire state of LGBTQIA+ rights in Texas,” according to The Bay Area Reporter

Martinez added that Texas is the “‘weakest link’ in the country that is ‘dragging our nation into a human rights crisis that will do more than damage our global reputation.'”

The groups now await the opinions of the 17 “experts” addressed in the letter. Dulitzky seems to think they’re a foregone conclusion: “We will see if Texas decides to respond or not. That is up to the government of Texas. We hope that they will take the advice of the United Nations …”

MORE: Leading pediatric ‘gender-affirming care’ doctor leaving university hospital, Texas following state treatment ban

IMAGES: United Nations/X; U. Texas

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.