A state senate committee takes up Senate Bill 6, the so-called bathroom bill Tuesday. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has long favored legislation that would require people in public schools and government buildings to use the restroom according to the sex on their birth certificate.
Monday, Patrick launched a new campaign to shore up support.
Patrick assembled a multi-ethnic, multi-racial and diverse political group of leaders in support of Senate Bill 6.
“We will be next to pass a bill that focuses on privacy, a person’s privacy and public safety,” Patrick said. “That will say to parents everywhere 'your children will have privacy in their schools,' as we focus on the needs of every student in the most private of all situations — in the showers the locker rooms and the bathrooms.”
Patrick said his new, "One Million Voices" campaign calls on religious — especially Christian — leaders to back the bill. Joining Patrick was a Democrat. State Senator Eddie Lucio, from Brownsville supports it.
“Children, youth and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity and respect without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security from other students and parents,” Lucio said.
While Patrick may find support in the state Senate, he faces a fight in the Texas House. Speaker Joe Straus has said this legislation is not a priority.
Parents of transgender children meanwhile blasted the Senate bill.
Amber Briggle, of Denton, has a transgender son.
“For those parents who don’t have transgender kids,” Briggle said at a rally in Austin, “just know that my son is not any different than theirs. He loves cats, he loves Pokemon, he loves basketball. And so to treat my child as someone different is wrong. It’s discriminatory and ‘y’all’ means you all and we’re Texans and should stand up for each other.”
Rachel Gonzales, of Dallas, has a transgender daughter.
“She exists as a girl. She’s happy and healthy and it would be very dangerous and very bizarre to send her into a men’s restroom,” Gonzales said.
The Texas Association of Business opposes the legislation. It’s said it could be a barrier to recruiting employees to the state. The NFL and NBA have issued warnings to Texas about Senate Bill 6. It’s threatened to withhold future super bowls and all-star games.