A friend and former colleagues poses a fascinating and pertinent observation about the Bathroom Bill that is pending in the Texas Legislature.
She writes: “So this bathroom bill thing. They say you will have to go to (the) restroom with the gender you were born. So, if a female changes into a male, he will have to go to women’s restroom. I can see women screaming ‘There’s a man in our bathroom.’ Go ahead and vote for your stupid bill so I can stand and watch all you horrified women when a man walks in.”
The Texas Senate has approved the bill and sent it to the House of Representatives. Indeed, the Legislature is meeting in special session, with the Bathroom Bill on its agenda of work to be completed. Gov. Greg Abbott included this monstrosity of a bill in a lengthy list of issues for the Legislature to ponder.
My friend wonders, as I do, about this bill’s enforceability.
If one is going to complete surgery that changes one’s sexual identity, how does the state enforce this law that requires folks to use restrooms in accordance with the gender noted on his or her birth certificate?
The Houston Chronicle reports that business executives are lining up against this bill: “Eleven additional top business executives, including leaders at iconic Texas firms like Neiman-Marcus and Baker Hughes, have joined the growing chorus of protests to kill the controversial bathroom bill.
“In a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, who supports passage of the measure, the corporate officials warn ‘long-term economic harm’ they believe the passage of the ‘discriminatory’ legislation will bring and ask for Abbott’s ‘leadership in keeping Texas open and welcoming to all.'”
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has lined up against the bill. I’m unsure at this moment how the House is going to act, whether it will follow the speaker’s lead. I’m reminded of how a former Texas House speaker, Democrat Pete Laney of Hale Center, used to operate. He always sought to “let the will of the House” determine the fate of legislation.
Will that be Speaker Straus’s method of operation as the House takes up this issue?
Actually, I still believe this bill discriminates against transgender citizens.
I’ll leave it to a strong conservative U.S. senator, Orrin Hatch, to state what many of us believe. Sen. Hatch, in rejecting Donald Trump’s policy statement by tweet that bans transgender Americans from serving in the military, noted that transgender individuals don’t “choose” to change their sexual identity. “They are born that way,” he said.
The same argument ought to be leveled against this ridiculous legislation that awaits its fate in the Texas Legislature.