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Texas conservatives ask Gov. Greg Abbott to call special session to stop 'woke' agenda

Texas Capitol Building
The Texas capitol building, crafted from pink granite, is seen in Austin, Texas September 19, 2012. |

Conservative leaders and activists groups in Texas are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session to pass legislation to stop the advancement of what they call the “WOKE” agenda.

Last week, a group of more than 150 conservative leaders representing conservative public policy organizations and local chapters of the Texas Republican Party wrote a letter to Abbott urging him to call a fourth legislative session.

The effort was led by Chris Hopper, the Texas director of the national socially conservative think tank American Principles Project, and comes weeks after at least two dozen Republican lawmakers issued a similar call on Abbott. But the lawmakers wanted the focus to be on banning vaccine mandates.

The conservative activists warned, however, that “the very future of our families hangs in the balance.”

“In addition to a regular session in which needed pro-family reforms were stalled, lawmakers have had three additional special sessions during which they should have moved to protect Texans against the ever advancing ‘WOKE’ agenda,” the letter reads.

“They failed,” the leaders lamented. “Instead, Texans witnessed grandstanding and hollow posturing while the abuses of chemical and surgical mutilation and sterilization of underage children continue — as does the continued corruption of children with school-pushed pornography, Cultural Marxism of Critical Race Theory, and the indoctrination of social-emotional learning. The legislature even failed to protect females from the unfair competition from biological males in collegiate sports!”

The group predicted that “accomplished college-bound female athletes will have scholarships literally stolen from them because our legislature failed these young women.”

They urged Abbott to call “an immediate special session of the legislature to deal with three outstanding items to protect the innocent among us from those seeking to kill and destroy families.”

Specifically, the leaders asked the legislature to “immediately outlaw gender modification.”

While the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has declared gender modification surgeries “child abuse” at Abbott’s request, the conservative leaders insist that “executive orders and bureaucratic actions will not suffice.”

The conservative advocacy group American College of Pediatricians lists “osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and … sterility” as side effects of children using puberty-blocking drugs like Lupron. 

The Department of Family and Protective Services move to label transgender surgeries child abuse comes after the Texas legislature failed to pass legislation banning the procedures. While the Republican-controlled Texas Senate approved a measure prohibiting the medicalized gender-transitioning of minors, the bill was never voted on in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

The conservative leaders who sent the letter to Abbott attributed the bill’s failure to “procedural delay tactics in the House by Chair Stephanie Klick.” The Temple Daily Telegram reported that Klick received $4,000 in donations from political action committees affiliated with gender clinics. 

Similar political action committees reportedly donated $885,000 to Abbott and $945,000 to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

The signatories maintained that “Texas must protect all female sports.” They praised Florida for passing legislation that prevents trans-identified males from competing in women’s sports at the collegiate level.

“Texas must do no less,” they argued. 

Critics of policies that allow biological males who identify as females to compete on women’s sports teams cite the biological differences between males and females that give males an advantage in athletic competitions as the reason for their opposition to such policies. 

LGBT advocacy groups have criticized bills like Florida’s, claiming they “promote exclusion” and discriminate against trans-identified individuals. 

While Texas passed House Bill 25, which requires students at the K-12 level to compete on sports teams that correspond with their biological sex instead of their declared gender identity, the bill has received criticism from some advocacy groups for not going far enough.

Women’s Liberation Front, which keeps track of state legislation to protect women’s sports, cited House Bill 25’s failure to “include collegiate sports” as one of its “flaws.”

“The inclusion of collegiate sports in bills like these has been a contentious issue across the country. The [National Collegiate Athletics Association] has put pressure on states not to pass laws making collegiate sports single-sex,” the advocacy group explained. “Scheduled to host the 2023 and 2025 men’s Final Four and the 2023 women’s Final Four, Texas is a big player in NCAA events. If the bill had included collegiate sports, it would have been a big blow to the NCAA’s promotion of mixed-sex sports.”

The conservative leaders who wrote the letter to Abbott also proclaimed that “children in Texas MUST be protected from pervasive pornography.”

They elaborated on the exposure to pornography faced by children and contend results from internet service providers “being subsidized to build valuable broadband infrastructure, while offloading risk onto Texas taxpayers and spreading filth to children in the process.”

“Putting up a barrier to the corruption of children is the very least these service providers could do after profiting from taxpayer largesse,” the letter argues. “The Texas Legislature should protect our kids from pornography by having internet service providers default to turning off pornographic content.”

The letter concluded by calling on Abbott to “fight for these values by immediately calling a fourth special session.”

Texas’ primary elections for this fall’s state and federal elections are slightly more than a month away.

Abbott, who is seeking a third term in office in this year’s gubernatorial election, faces two main primary challengers: State Sen. Don Huffines and former Texas Republican Party Chair Allen West.

Huffines, who has accused the state’s “RINO leadership” of “watching Texas turn blue,” has vowed to “end the sexualization of children being done by radicals who promote gender reassignments for minors” if elected.

West has also stressed a need to “end gender modification in Texas” and promised to “never accept contributions from any hospital or clinic that is associated with gender reassignment surgeries.”

The most recent nonpartisan poll conducted in November by the University of Texas at Tyler shows Abbott capturing 65% of the vote among Republican primary voters, compared to 6% for West and 3% for Huffines. A poll conducted for West’s campaign, released earlier this month, finds West leading Abbott with 38% compared to Abbott’s 33%.

The primary election will take place on March 1. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote in the primary, a runoff between the top two finishers will take place on May 24.  

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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