A Texas legislator's bill that would prohibit sexual predators from entering bathrooms of the opposite biological sex in government buildings would also block local ordinances to the contrary.
Early this month, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) announced the filing of a Senate bill that would protect women and girls from unwanted male use of women's facilities such as showers, restrooms, and changing rooms in public schools and public buildings across the state. The "Texas Privacy Act" (SB 6) was authored by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham).
Nicole Hudgens, state outreach coordinator for Texas Values, argues that the bill – which would prevent local laws from allowing transgender use of opposite-sex bathrooms – is needed because some government bodies have been allowing men to use women's facilities.
"Since we've had these local governments, school boards, and even the federal government continue to push for allowing boys and men into girl's bathrooms, we needed to have a state law that ensured basic, consistent, and transparent standards on this issue across the state," she explains.
The bill doesn't apply to private businesses. "If you look at the first page of the bill ... you'll see that private businesses can may their own decisions," says Hudgens. "But when it comes to government buildings and schools, the state of Texas is going to protect privacy, safety and dignity."
Opponents fear the bill would have a significant, negative impact on the state's economy as a similar bill did in North Carolina. WFAA TV in Dallas-Ft. Worth reports the Texas Association of Business, fearing the bill's possible negative impact on the economy, has already come out against it. But Hudgens maintains that shouldn't be a concern.
"North Carolina is actually number two in business right now – and then if we look at the state of Texas, I believe we're now tenth in ranking in comparison with other countries," she tells OneNewsNow. "So Texas has a great economy; and protecting the privacy, safety and dignity of all Texans is not going to change that."
Hudgens points to American Family Association's Target boycott, which she says has already alerted the private sector that the public is concerned about this practice that is dangerous to girls and women. That petition has drawn more than 1.5 million signatures thus far.