Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick
and state Senator Lois Kolkhorst on Thursday introduced a bill that
targets the transgender community.
Titled the “Privacy Protection Act,”
Senate Bill 6 bars transgender people from using the bathroom of
their choice in many buildings, blocks local non-discrimination
ordinances that protect transgender people in public accommodations,
and prohibits local municipalities from considering such protections
when awarding contracts.
The proposal – and others introduced
in the past week – are similar to a North Carolina law that created
a major backlash which led to boycotts, lost jobs and lost state
revenues estimated in the billions of dollars.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate,
criticized the move.
“Dan Patrick’s attack on
transgender Texans is a dangerous, politically-motivated assault on
the rights of his own constituents,” said Griffin. “Patrick and
his anti-LGBTQ friends in the legislature have clearly learned
nothing from the self-inflicted damage caused by North Carolina’s
discriminatory HB2 law and want to throw away $8.5 billion in revenue
from lost visitors, businesses, sports leagues and major
entertainment groups. If lawmakers vote to discriminate against
transgender people, Texas will be closed for business.”
Republicans in at least five other
states, including Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia and
Missouri, have introduced similar bills in the past week.
Republican introduces transgender “bathroom bill.”)