June is PRIDE month, and according to a recent Census Bureau study focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, which left out the queer contingent, Texas has the second largest “LGBT” population in the US of 1.8 million people, while California has the most at 2.7 million.

Texas lawmakers recently passed bills affecting the LGBTQ community and how schools will approach the matter—they also left some potential bills on the table.

The Texas legislature banned puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender kids and restricted college sports teams that trans athletes could join. Texas also expanded the definition of sexual conduct in a way that could include some drag performances in a bill meant to ban sexually explicit routines in front of kids.

On the other hand, potential laws seeking to limit school programming, teacher guidance, and classroom lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation failed to make it. Most of this particular legislation was pushed by Republicans, but some Democrats were also on board.

Lawmakers sought to ban teaching sexual orientation and gender identity to students until 12th grade, which initially passed as SB 1072 but died in the Public House Education Committee. House Republicans put forth a similar proposal—HB 890, which was accepted, but the lower chamber didn’t consider it or bring it forward in time, and the third attempt to pass the law died.

Critics of the bill called it the “Don’t Say Gay” provision and contend that it contains vague language that could stifle even general discussion about LGBTQ people, such as teachers discussing their same-sex spouses.

Senate Bill 8 is a sweeping education plan that tied education savings accounts with the gender and sexuality lesson issue. The House Public Education Committee overhauled the bill in May, limiting the vouchers the school can allow and removing the provision restricting school discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, the school choice/education savings accounts bill failed.

There was also a battle for House Bill 100. HB 100 would have seen funding to raise teacher salaries or balance their budget.

Surprisingly, state Democrats cheered the bill’s failure. Democrats like Rep. James Talarico, who said, “The Texas Senate is holding teacher pay raises hostage in an attempt to pass a private school voucher scam that will defund our public schools. I’m proud of the bipartisan group of Texas House members who refused to give in to the Senate’s scheme.”

The Debate Continues

According to GoGreenva, LGBTQ-inclusive lessons help students learn and understand about perspectives and experiences of queer people. LGBTQ proponents argue it will reduce bullying and harassment while allowing LGBTQ students to feel represented and supported.

Opponents of LGBTQ-inclusive lessons argue that these lessons aren’t necessary and are inappropriate. They feel schools should only focus on academic lessons and allow parents and churches to educate kids on gender and sexuality issues. Furthermore, opponents think that LGBTQ-specific lessons might make some students uncomfortable.

What’s Next?

Each bill will go to Gov. Greg Abbott to either sign into law or veto them. He has until June 18 to do so. The earliest most bills can go into effect is Aug. 27, and you can keep up on their progress here.