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Texas doctor and GOP activist expelled from state Senate after calling trans people pedophiles

A Texas doctor and Republican anti-trans activist has been kicked out of a state Senate hearing after repeatedly falsely accusing trans people and their healthcare providers of being pedophiles, but it is his use of the word “bull****” which seemed to be the final straw.

Houston-area physician Steven Hotze testified before a state Senate committee on March 16 in support of several bills targeting LGBT+ people, joining a wave of state-level legislation across the United States. United States to criminalize gender-affirming care.

Democratic state senator Jose Menendez pushed back against the doctor’s inflammatory rhetoric, but he continued baselessly smearing trans people and their suppliers: “By definition, they’re pedophiles.”

“I would just ask you to refrain from calling people pedophiles. I don’t think the doctors who came before us are pedophiles,” Menendez said. “I don’t think it’s inappropriate for you to call people you don’t know pedophiles… I have trans friends, I have trans staff members, I have trans members of our community … It’s hurtful for them.”

Mr. Menendez said trans people “live their true selves”, to which Mr. Hotze replied “that’s bull ***”, prompting lawmakers to kick him out of the committee.

Dr Cody Pyke, who testified before the committee, clarified that Mr Hotze was only expelled for his use of profanity, not for his transphobic slurs.

Republican committee chairman Bryan Hughes “seemed not to oppose transphobia, only profanity,” Dr. Pyke said.

Blasphemy is prohibited in the state legislature. After the doctor said “bull ****,” Senator Hughes said, “Dr. Hotze, we don’t use that kind of language. You are excused.”

In their testimony, Dr. Pyke discussed the suicide risks and threats of violence faced by trans youth.

“Since my transition, I have been the victim of physical and verbal abuse by complete strangers on the street,” they said. “It’s not a fad; it is not a social contagion. It’s a real identity, and we deserve your protection, not your hate.

Dr. Hotze has repeatedly smeared LGBT+ people in the state; in 2016, he compared homosexuals to “termites” who “eat away at the very moral fabric of the foundation of our country”, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Dr. Hotze is also behind a lawsuit seeking to prevent employer-provided health insurance from covering the HIV prevention drug PrEP. Last year he was charged with aggravated assault in connection with an investigation into election fraud allegations involving a private investigator waving a gun at an innocent air conditioning repairman.

Among other measures aimed at LGBT+ Texans, the state’s Senate committee also proposed legislation on Thursday banning trans women from competing on college sports teams that match their gender.

This year, state legislators across the United States introduced more than 400 bills identified by the Human Rights Campaign as harmful to LGBT+ Americans. At least 175 measures would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the most bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Dozens of bills seek to bar trans youth from accessing medically backed health care, and state lawmakers have introduced more so-called “toilet bills” this year than any other.

The onslaught of legislation and the volatile political debate surrounding the bills have had a negative impact on the mental health of an overwhelming majority of young trans and non-binary people, according to a recent survey by The Trevor Project and Morning Consult.

A separate survey by The Trevor Project found that 45% of trans and non-binary youth have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.

The Independent Gt

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