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Texas Bathroom Bill Aims to Limit Access to Public Restrooms

Image: Texas Bathroom Bill Aims to Limit Access to Public Restrooms

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst introduced Senate Bill 6 known as the Texas Privacy Act. (Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

By    |   Friday, 06 Jan 2017 02:36 PM

A Texas bathroom bill that aims to limit access to public restrooms for transgender people is being criticized by some who say the proposed legislation targets the rights of the LGBT community.

The “Texas Privacy Act” is a major priority for Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican and conservative Christian who said the proposed legislation protects "the privacy and safety" of Texans, Reuters reported.

“It is the right thing to do,” Patrick said of the bill that would require people in public buildings to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex, according to Reuters.

The Texas Association of Business is among those who have criticized the bill, saying a study shows its discriminatory message could be costly for the state’s economy, with losses amounting to $964 million to $8.5 billion, Reuters reported.

“We know it’s going to be a tough fight,” Patrick told reporters at the Texas Capitol, according to The New York Times. “The forces of fear and misinformation will pull out all the stops, both in Texas and nationally. But we know we’re on the right side of the issue, and we’re on the right side of history.”

Along with the state's most influential business lobby, others condemning the bill include Democratic lawmakers, civil rights groups, and gay and transgender rights activists, the Times noted.

“If it’s like H.B. 2 in North Carolina, it’s discriminatory, and it’s bad for business,” said Chris Wallace, the president of the Texas Association of Business, according to the Times. “We do not want our state to have an unwelcoming brand to future workers.”

Despite condemnation, Bill sponsor Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, a Republican from rural Brenham, said her “thoughtful and unique” bill will not serve as some sort of “bathroom police,” Fox News reported.

Instead, she said it will allow people to issue complaints if they see anything in public restrooms that they find to be uncomfortable.

Kolkhorst said the bill was written “not to start a controversy but to end one.”

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A Texas bathroom bill that aims to limit access to public restrooms for transgender people is being criticized by some who say the proposed legislation targets the rights of the LGBT community.
texas, bathroom, bill, transgender
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2017-36-06
Friday, 06 Jan 2017 02:36 PM
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