The Texas Senate will begin hearings Tuesday on a so-called transgender "bathroom bill" whihch faces several legislative hurdles despite support from top Republicans.
North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, an architect of that state’s "bathroom bill" is now trying to help Texas pass a similar law. “Its not an issue about the transgender community, its not an issue about the LGBT community, this is an issue about privacy, safety and protection for all people,” he told reporters in Austin Monday.
Critics of Texas Senate Bill 6 say it will hurt the economy, pointing to similar backlash in North Carolina. Facebook and Google are among some of the companies opposing the measure.
“The first part of it says businesses are a free enterprise and they decide their bathroom, restroom, showers and dressing room facilities as they see fit,” said the bill's author Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham.
SB 6 would require Texans to use the public restroom that corresponds to the sex stated on their birth certificate.
Opponents of the bill also rallied in Austin Monday, many arguing it discriminates against transgender people. “We're tired of hearing from senators that want to cut our rights, keep us silent and tell us we can't go to the bathroom, we can't marry who we love and we can't have any rights in the state,” said one man.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick defended the bill as the will of the people.
“My job is to pass legislation that is supported by the people and its the right thing to do by the Texas Senate, that's my job,” said Patrick. “And then, 'One Million Voices' will take it up from there.”
Patrick, Kolkhorst, Forest and others unveiled what they're calling the “Operation One Million Voices” campaign which plans to educate Christian pastors on SB 6 and urge them to talk to the parishoners.