Fox 26 Houston, owned and operated by 21st Century Fox, hosted a panel that included a guest idenitified as a “progressive commentator” who went on to attack the LGBTQ community and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus for his concern about transgender suicide rates.
Straus told The New Yorker's Lawrence Wright that he was “disgusted” by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's push to convene a special session, to begin July 18, that would likely include proposals for state-wide bathroom bans that would restrict access for transgender people. Straus also added that he did not “want the suicide of a single Texan on [his] hands.” Panelist Nyanza Moore, who was identified as a “progressive commentator,” called Straus' statement “crazy” and “stupid.” Moore also dismissed the extraordinarily high suicide rate among transgender people, saying, “I don't know if the LGBT community has gotten so pressed with him to where they have convinced him that someone will actually kill themselves if they are forced to use a gender-identified bathroom.”
Numerous media outlets have reported on the harmful impact of these “bathroom bans,” and research has shown that these bills would lead to thousands of increased youth suicide attempts. The Daily Beast's Samantha Allen reported that calls to a crisis hotline for transgender people called Trans Lifeline “nearly doubled” after North Carolina passed similar legislation in 2016. Fox 26 in Houston has been reliably problematic in its coverage of LGBTQ issues, having just recently hosted anti-LGBTQ hate group representative Jared Woodfill seven times in 10 days. In 2015, before the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was repealed, Fox 26 aggressively peddled the debunked “bathroom predator” myth.
From the July 9 edition of Fox 26 Houston's What's Your Point?:
GREG GROOGAN (HOST): Texas House Speaker Joe Straus [R-San Antonio] ahead of the upcoming special session digging his heels in against the controversial bathroom bill, saying he doesn't want the responsibility of a suicide on his hands. Who wants to jump in on this?
NYANZA MOORE: OK. First of all, now we're talking crazy. I think -- he made a comment, says, “I'm not a lawyer, but I am a Texan, and I don't want any Texan to lose their lives.” What does going to the bathroom have to do with suicide? I don't know if the LGBT community has gotten so pressed with him to where they have convinced him that someone will actually kill themselves if they are forced to use a gender-identified bathroom. But I think this is ridiculous, and like I said when we were on break, he probably should have run this by his wife before he made that stupid statement.