AUSTIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Texas Senate is considering its own "bathroom bill" for government building and school bathrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms.
The Texas Privacy Act — known as Senate Bill 6 (SB 6) — was filed on December 5. It directs that people must use facilities where people are in "a state of undress," coinciding with the biological sex shown on their birth certificate.
Unlike North Carolina's House Bill 2 (HB 2) and two other bills being considered in Virginia and Kentucky, SB 6 allows business owners to set their own policies regarding bathroom use, allowing or disallowing so-called non-inclusive facilities. It also forbids city and other kinds of municipal government from passing laws in contradiction to SB 6.
The bill makes exceptions for custodians, maintenance workers, medical or other emergency personnel, as well as those accompanying students needing special assistance. It also excludes occasions when government-owned buildings are leased out for private use.
It was co-written by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Patrick commented, "[This bill] ensures that businesses have the freedom to determine their own bathroom policies and that no public school can institute a bathroom policy that allows boys to go in the girls' restrooms, showers and locker rooms and girls to go in the boys' restrooms, showers and locker rooms."
He said at a press conference, "We know it's going to be a tough fight, but we know we're on the right side of the issue. We're on the right side of history. You can mark today as the day Texas is drawing a line in the sand and saying no."
The legislation is yet another move in the pro-life and pro-family direction Texas lawmakers have been heading — especially since the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency.
On December 29, Stuart Bowen, Inspector General of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, notified Planned Parenthood it would lose state funding in 30 days.
The state was also a party in a lawsuit against the Obama administration when it tried to force U.S. school districts to allow boys in girls' bathrooms.
North Carolina received national attention March 2016 when Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB 2 mandating that people use public restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.
If SB 6 is approved, it will go into effect on September 1, 2017.