With a nationwide debate over the issue continuing to rage, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick today announced his priority legislation to prevent men from entering women’s bathrooms.
Authored by State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), the “Texas Privacy Act” would limit the use of bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms at government buildings (including public schools and universities) to biological sex. The legislation would also pre-empt local ordinances seeking to dictate policies at private businesses.
Liberal groups and LGBT organizers have already cobbled together strong opposition to the ordinance. Chief among them is the Texas Association of Business which has organized a campaign against Patrick’s priority dubbed “Keep Texas Open.”
It is interesting to note that while the organization claims to support Texas businesses is leading the effort to block legislation that would lift the threat of heavy fines and fees for businesses if they fail to comply with local ordinances dictating their bathroom protocols.
Perhaps knowing they can’t win the fight on principle, TAB is claiming the passage of the legislation will cause economic doom and gloom.
That argument was strongly disputed by Patrick who noted that such protections in Houston never materialized after voters rejected a local ordinance dictating business bathroom policy two years ago.
“You have heard projections of doom if we pass this bill. I heard the same projections in Houston,” said Patrick. “Last time I checked, the Super Bowl was still in Houston and teed up for 5:30pm.”
Patrick and Kolkhorst drew praise from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who has been fighting the imposition of bathroom policies on the federal level.
“Texans should feel safe and secure when they enter any intimate facility,” said Paxton. “I applaud the work of Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Senator Kolkhorst for fighting to protect women and children from those who might use access to such facilities for nefarious purposes.”