Controversial Bill Passes Tx Senate Committee

The Senate State Affairs Committee advanced SB-3 after 10-hours of testimony from supporters and critics alike.

The so-called Bathroom Bill – or the Privacy Act – is one of the main reasons the Texas Legislature was called back into special session.

The bill would require people to use bathrooms in government buildings and public schools that coincide with the gender listed on their birth certificate.  Supporters say the bill protects the public from sexual predators who would ambush their victims in public restrooms.  Critics say the measure discriminates against transgenders.  There is also opposition from those who believe it will hurt Texas’ reputation as a business-friendly state.

Following the 8-1 committee vote, the bill now heads to the full Senate, where it is expected to easily pass.  SB-3 will likely face a tougher time in the House, just as it did in the regular session. 

The bill highlights the ongoing debate between social conservatives, led by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and pro-business Republicans, led by House Speaker Joe Straus.

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