Texas Senate tentatively passes ‘bathroom bill’

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After spending most of the day debating the proposed ‘bathroom bill,’ the Texas Senate has tentatively approved the bill 21-10. The bill, which still has to go through a final vote on the Senate floor, would require people to use public facilities associated with their birth sex.

Despite 13 hours of emotional testimony last week, the State Committee agreed to move Senate Bill 6 to the floor for a full vote following a 21-hour committee hearing. Once the Senate officially passes it, the bill will then head to the House Committee for review.

In response, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued a statement saying, “Thousands of Texans have spoken out only to be ignored in sham hearings at the Capitol. Children spoke out about their fear of being bullied, transgender people fought for their rights, business leaders warned about the very real threat to our economy, and Republicans charged forward with their fingers jammed in their ears.”

A poll conducted last month by the Texas Politics Project and the Texas Tribune found that 76 percent of Republican voters believe a transgender person should use the bathroom associated with their biological sex. However, only 27 percent of those Republicans said it was an issue that needs to be legislated and 35 percent said it wasn’t important at all.

The NBA has joined the NFL in suggesting that Texas will be overlooked for future big events if lawmakers pass a bill requiring people to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.

If passed, the bill would take effect Sept. 1, 2017.

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