AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Senate took a step toward passing the controversial ‘bathroom bill.’
Senators tentatively approved it in a 21-10 vote on Tuesday on a first reading.
A final vote will be held Wednesday before it is sent to the House.
The bill has drawn opposition from big-name companies including Facebook, and the NFL warning that the Super Bowl won’t return to Dallas or Houston.
The proposal would require transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificates.
Supporters say it’s an issue of privacy. The author of the bill, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, District 18 (R-Brenham), began by making her case for SB 6. She says the safety and privacy of women is at stake.
Chris Wallace, President of the Texas Association of Business, issued this statement in reaction to the Senate’s approval of SB 6:
“We’re disappointed the Texas Senate would choose to pass discriminatory legislation like Senate Bill 6, despite clear indications that its passage will have an economic impact in Texas. TAB remains committed to fighting and defending the Texas economy against bills that discriminate and run counter to Texas values.
“Our members believe everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally, and we have heard what they know- equity and non-discrimination is a twenty-first century economic imperative. Senate Bill 6 is simply not worth the risk, and it will do nothing to improve personal safety.
“Given the overwhelming economic evidence, and the clear rejection of the public safety argument from Texas law enforcement, Senate Bill 6 is a solution in search of a problem, and we hope that the Texas House will strongly reject this measure.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“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.
“Texas Republicans have talked about the end of civilization, because of bathroom boogeymen, if they don’t pass their potty police bill.
“Our economy is slipping, college is out of reach, Texans need a raise, and school finance is broken, but today Texas Republicans spent Texans’ tax dollars and precious time to debate bathrooms.”