A bathroom bill filed in Texas is proving as controversial as North Carolina’s with a vigorous campaign underway to stop it.
The Republican-backed legislation is considered to be a top priority by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. It’s modeled on the North Carolina bill and is meant to ensure Texas residents use the public restrooms that correspond to their birth certificates.
The opposition has come from a number of sources.
The Texas Tribune reported that one of America’s most prominent LGBT civil rights organizations has opened up offices in Texas to fight it.
The Human Rights Campaign is setting up three field offices in Houston, Austin, and Dallas and is aiming to defeat Senate Bill 6 as well as other anti-LGBT legislation put forward by Texas lawmakers. The Tribune reported it’s the first time the organization will have full-time staff based in the state.
A growing fight has erupted over SB 6. People of transgender would be forced to use bathrooms in government buildings, and public universities based on their “biological sex.”
The bill would prompt local ordinances that would build in criminal sanctions for people who failed to comply with the bill.
The Human Rights Campaign played a major role in fighting the bathroom bill in North Carolina last year. After it became law, it was estimated to have cost North Carolina millions of dollars in canceled sporting events and business forums.
Patrick says SB 6 is aimed at preventing men from going into women’s restrooms under the pretense of being a transgender person. There is scant evidence of this happening in the state, the Texas Tribune reported. Patrick said at a recent event:
“Does anyone in here who has grandchildren, have a granddaughter who’s 8 or 9, want them to walk into a bathroom with a man?”
Despite the support of Patrick, the bill has been opposed by some unlikely sources.
In January, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus broke ranks with fellow Republicans to criticize Senate Bill 6.
His concern is job creation. He warned the presence of the bill could impact investment and the “job-creating machine.”
The Texas Association of Business has also emerged as a leading opponent of the bill, reported Business Insider.
Despite the opposition, 10 additional Republicans in the Senate signed the bill as co-authors.
In North Carolina, the bill provoked an outcry and is seen as instrumental in the defeat of governor Pat McCrory. It remains on the statute books.
There are practical difficulties in police departments enforcing such a bill. Some departments made it clear they would not be checking birth certificates.
Texas is a state that’s big on law enforcement and criminal sanctions. If you fall foul of the law, you should call the Medlin Law Firm for help at (682) 204-4066.