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Texas AG to Austin city personnel: follow state law or get sued

On Tuesday, Austin City Council members passed a resolution directing city personnel to not comply with a new state law that criminalizes gender-related services for children.

Last year, the Texas legislature passed SB 14. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law, which was challenged in court. The Texas Supreme Court ruled the law could go into effect Sept. 1, 2023.

The bill prohibits procedures and treatments for gender transitioning or gender reassignment from being performed on minors suffering from gender dysphoria and prohibits public money or public assistance from being used to fund such procedures and treatments. It also amends the state Health and Safety Code to prohibit a child health plan, including health care providers and Medicaid, from providing coverage for services "intended to transition a child's biological sex as determined by the child's sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous profiles," according to the bill language, among other prohibitions.

On Thursday, the Austin City Council voted 10-to-1 to pass a resolution directing city personnel to not comply with the law in several ways. However, each directive it issued was prefaced by a clause, “except to the extent required by law ..."