Texas Goes After Trans Kids With Its Latest Bathroom Bill
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 23, 2017,
May 23, 2017, 12:28
The Texas Senate has passed a bill that protects state-funded foster care and adoption agencies that want to make decisions about child care and child placement based on "sincerely held religious beliefs". Dan Patrick's threat to insist the governor call a special session of the Legislature unless lawmakers passed such a bill - which he has pushed for all session long, citing privacy concerns - as well as property tax legislation (The House on Saturday advanced a less aggressive tax proposal than the Senate had in mind). While the "bathroom bill" would override some state school district policies that allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, Republican Texan politicians said the bill was created to protect the privacy and safety of students.
"I think it's absolutely about school safety", state Rep. Chris Paddie (R) said Sunday night.
"Not one foster parent/family who wants to provide a home for our kids will be denied from doing so", he said.
Before the debate a small number of female Democratic representatives entered a men's restroom near the house floor as a protest. "White. Colored. I was living through that era ... bathrooms divided us then, and it divides us now", she said on Sunday. "Separate but equal is not equal at all".
Protesters assemble at the Texas state capitol to speak out against a bill to bar transgender people from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity. If a student refuses to use the bathroom that doesn't match their gender identity, they can use a single-stall bathroom, according to the bill.
Since changes were made to the bill after it left the Senate, it will now go to a committee and eventually to Gov. Greg Abbott for his approval. We are getting rolled by the Senate, and transgender children are a part of that bargain. Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers also have proposed bills or amendments allowing "religious liberty" exemptions for lawyers, pharmacists and nurses.
"It's about the safety of the same child that you just referenced, that is a transgender child that's assaulted". He specifically wanted to see Senate Bill 6, the bill that would extend these bathroom laws to any public building in Texas, pass the House.
Hundreds of businesses and several Texas chambers of commerce, celebrities and performers, tourism groups and events and sports organizations including the National Basketball Association, the NFL and the NCAA have spoken out against legislation targeting transgender people for discrimination. It lacked a bar on state-wide anti-discriminatory laws - save for those regarding the use of bathrooms - and included a carve-out for any private entities that rent, say, a stadium or arena, allowing them to enforce whatever regulations and policies regarding restrooms that it prefers. State lawmakers this year repealed that bill, replacing it with a less restrictive measure.
The state attorney general would be responsible for defending the bathroom law by filing lawsuits seeking a court order or injunctions against schools or school districts.
Advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, including the Human Rights Campaign, opposed the bill.
His change passed 91-50.