Faith leaders say ‘bathroom bill’ would irreparably damage LGBTQ community

Gender neutral bathroom (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas’ controversial Senate Bill Six, also called the “Bathroom Bill” by critics and the Texas Privacy Act by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, is currently in limbo.

The bill is stalled in the legislature and has not even reached a committee yet. Some faith-based leaders are planning on voicing their concerns over the bill on Thursday.

The bill would ban people from using the bathroom of the gender they identify with in public schools and government buildings. The leaders of faith who are against this bill, say if it’s passed it would do irreparable damage to members of the LGBTQ community.

The faith group is hosting a meeting at the First United Methodist Church right next to the Capitol building to speak out against Senate Bill Six. Faith leaders also plan to figure out how to rally lawmakers against this bill. They say legislation like the “bathroom bill” is “immoral and against the values of love, respect and inclusion.”

Rev. Stephanie Cooper, is a pastor at University Baptist Church who is also openly gay. The group says she has a clear message for lawmakers who want to pass it.

“I would essentially say to Dan Patrick first and foremost, I would say invite us to the table. When you meet with people who all look like you and all think like you, it’s really easy to come up with a common narrative. But meet with us progressive faith leaders, and we’d be happy to share a table with you,” said Rev. Cooper.

According to recent reports by the Texas Tribune, the Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is scrambling to rally enough votes in the Senate. KXAN reached out to his office for comment on this and did not receive a response. Last month, Patrick explained why he strongly support Senate Bill Six, calling it a public safety issue.

“When we introduce men into ladies rooms. We introduce a danger,” said Patrick.

The legislation faces stiff opposition from the business community, which is warning that Texas could experience economic fallout similar to what North Carolina faced when its legislators pushed a comparable bill. The Texas Association of Business opposes the bill, saying it could cost Texas businesses $8 billion in revenue.

There is also a vigil planned later Thursday morning in support of transgender people and speaking out against Senate Bill Six. If you would like to attend, it is between 8:45 and 9:45 a.m. on the sidewalk near Hyde Park Baptist Church, at 3901 Speedway.

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