News (USA)

GOP lawmaker pranked with fake names during anti-trans bill hearing

Texas Rep. Jeff Leach (R).
Texas Rep. Jeff Leach (R). Photo: Sarah Avitua Photography/

During a hearing on Texas’s anti-trans S.B. 888 this week, a Republican lawmaker read out several sexually suggestive names that had been added to the list of public comment speakers.

On Wednesday, Texas’s House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee met to discuss S.B. 888, an anti-trans bill that would expand the statute of limitations under which doctors can be sued by former patients who have received gender-affirming care. Such legislation is meant to discourage healthcare professionals from providing gender-affirming care for fear of future litigation.

During the public comment period, a third-grade teacher spoke out against the bill. “We are suffering from so many different things in this state,” she said. “To be focusing on something that would very specifically harm transgender kids when they represent such a small portion of our population, as Texan it just really hurts my heart to see.”

Following the teacher’s comments, committee chair state Rep. Jeff Leach (R) called on the next speaker listed.

“Is there a Connie Lingus here?” he said. “What about Anita Dickinme? Or Holden Midick?”

“Are any three of those people here?” he said as the several people in the chamber burst into laughter.

“Alright, you got your… moment,” Leach said. “I hope you enjoy it.”

This isn’t the first time this tactic, straight out of the Bart Simpson playbook, has been used to troll lawmakers. Earlier this month, during a meeting of Florida’s House Civil Justice Subcommittee, state Rep. Will Robinson, Jr., (R) read off the names “Anita Dick” and “Holden Hiscock.”

The same names were read during a March 20 hearing on Florida Republicans’ anti-renter law.

After a clip from this week’s Texas hearing made its way to Twitter, many users found the prank hilarious, while others questioned its usefulness in the fight against anti-trans legislation like S.B. 888.

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