Texas Bathroom Laws
Senate Bill 6, or the Texas bathroom bill, was announced by the Texas lieutenant governor on January 5th. The new law mandates that individuals use the bathroom in government buildings and public schools and universities that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate.1 This law is specifically targeting transgender individuals who identify with a gender different that what appears on their birth certificate.
The bill has already received backlash from various equal rights groups and transgender rights groups. However the Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, is backing the bill because he believes that it will help defend women against attacks from sexual predators in restrooms.2 This belief is common amongst conservative republicans who make up the majority of Texas government. The bill is being called the Women’s Privacy Act by supporters, but critics claim that the intention is not entirely about women.3
This bill is expected to receive similar backlash as the North Carolina bill that had previously passed. The passing of the North Carolina bill resulted in huge revenue losses in the form of performance and sporting events.1 Texas’s largest business lobbying group, Texas Association of Business, estimates that it will cost the state $8.5 billion in revenues and 100,000 jobs.3 Similar to the passing of the North Carolina bill, many fear that the new law will cause a movement of football games.2
At the end of the day, the two arguments, for and against, are rooted in safety issues. Lawmakers who support the bill arguen that it is providing protection for women in public restrooms. Those who oppose the bill argue that it is putting transgender women at risk with little added security for cisgendered women.
"Texas Republicans fuel new row with transgender toilet bill." BBC News. January 06, 2017. Accessed January 07, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38528074.
Tracy, Marc. "A Bathroom Bill Could Cost Texas Some Sports Events." The New York Times. January 05, 2017. Accessed January 07, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/sports/ncaabasketball/texas-bathroom-bill-super-bowl.html.
Weisswert, Will. "Texas 'bathroom bill' unveiled ahead of 2017 session." ABC13 Houston. January 05, 2017. Accessed January 07, 2017. http://abc13.com/news/texas-bathroom-bill-unveiled-ahead-of-2017-session/1687632/.