Tag Archives: transgender issues

How does state enforce Bathroom Bill?

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.

Policy by tweet: no way to run a government

Donald John Trump has compiled an endless list of broken campaign promises. I’ll take a glance briefly at just one of them.

He vowed to become more “presidential” once he took the oath of office. He hasn’t done so. He’s become even less presidential.

Consider his latest blockbuster tweet in which he declared that transgender service personnel no longer could serve their country. He is governing by Twitter. The tweet caught the Joint Chiefs of Staff, congressional committee leaders, the Department of Defense and military field commanders all by surprise.

The president fired off the tweet and then — bang! — ignited a firestorm.

This idiotic tweet has provided yet another glaring, glowing and ghastly example of how the commander in chief is not fit for the position he occupies.

Senate and House committee leaders have expressed dismay that the president would govern via this social medium.

Oh, and then we had Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford declare that no change would take place for now regarding transgender personnel until he gets some specific direction from Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis. Until then, Gen. Dunford said, all personnel will be “treated with respect.”

The president, who never wore the nation’s uniform, has disrespected a handful of patriotic Americans simply because they have sought to change their sexual identity.


As a brief aside, I’m now awaiting a comment from my congressman, Mac Thornberry, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee. His Senate colleague, John McCain, already has spoken about the president’s latest Twitter tempest and the idiocy associated with the president’s insistence on using Twitter to make sweeping policy pronouncements.

Where are you on all this, Mac?

Local control? Who needs it in Fort Worth?

dan patrick

What am I missing here?

Don’t statewide elected officials in Texas — all of whom are Republicans — tell us they prefer to let locals control their affairs? Get a load of this tidbit.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign. He’s demanding it, by golly.

Why? Scribner has drafted guidelines regarding transgender students in the district.


According to Patrick, Scribner has gone off the rails with this transgender matter.

I believe I’ll set aside the correctness or wrongness of Scribner’s view on dealing with transgender students. My issue here is whether the state’s lieutenant governor should pressure a local school superintendent chosen by a duly elected local school board to quit his job.

Lt. Gov. Patrick should butt out. How a major Texas school district decides to run its affairs is solely the province of its elected trustees.

The Texas Tribune reports: “‘After less than a year as superintendent, Dr. Scribner has lost his focus and thereby his ability to lead the Fort Worth ISD,’ Patrick said in a statement. ‘He has placed his own personal political agenda ahead of the more than 86,000 students attending 146 schools in the district by unilaterally adopting ‘Transgender Student Guidelines.'”

Interesting, don’t you think?

Patrick said the superintendent has “placed his own personal political agenda ahead” of the needs of students. Isn’t that what Patrick is doing now, by demanding that a local school superintendent step down?

This issue should be decided by the constituents in Fort Worth who elect the school board, which in turn appoints the district’s chief executive officer.

Lt. Gov. Patrick’s primary job is to preside over the Texas Senate and to guide legislation through the Legislature’s upper chamber. It should not include telling local officials how to conduct their own business.


Caitlyn Jenner still a Republican

The woman formerly known as Bruce Jenner once declared himself to be a Republican.

Now that Bruce has become Caitlyn Jenner, at least one Republican presidential contender said Caitlyn is “welcome in my Republican Party.”

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has rolled out the welcome mat for Caitlyn Jenner, declaring that the GOP is a big tent party after all.


I’m totally fine with Sen. Graham’s statement. He’s right, of course. A political party should be a place where people judge others’ most intensely intimate personal decisions. I struggle to think of a decision that is more intimate than changing one’s gender, which is what Jenner has done.

Graham said Jenner is welcome in “my” party. The question among some of us watching this campaign unfold is whether the party really belongs to those such as Graham, who’s known to be a more inclusive sort of politician.

It’s the “base” of the GOP that’s calling the shots. Something tells me the party base isn’t quite so welcoming to Caitlyn Jenner.