After holding a marathon 21-hour
hearing, a Texas senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill that
seeks to prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their
choice in many buildings.
According to the Austin
American-Statesman, eight out of the nine senators on the
State Affairs Committee voted at 4:50 AM to advance Senate Bill 6,
sending the measure to the full Senate.
Texas is among the more than a dozen
states considering following in the footsteps of North Carolina, the
first – and so far only – state to approve such a law.
In a press release, Freedom for All
Americans, a group opposed to the measure, said that nearly 300
people spoke at Tuesday's hearing.
“There is unprecedented opposition to
SB 6 from all corners of Texas and from stakeholders across the
nation,” said Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt
McTighe. “Hundreds of Texans came to Austin and spoke out against a
bill that they know promotes discrimination and threatens their
state’s economy. It’s simply irresponsible that lawmakers could
listen to such overwhelming opposition in a hearing that lasted for
nearly 21 hours, with the business community, educators, parents of
transgender kids and so many others speaking out against the bill –
and still vote to advance such a dangerous measure.”
Among the speakers at Tuesday's hearing
was a transgender child whose mother tearfully testified: “From the
moment she could communicate, she let us know she was a girl.
Dadgummit, transgender people are real.”
On Monday, Senator Eddie Lucio, a
member of the State Affairs Committee, became the first Senate
Democrat to announce his support for the bill, which he described as
“a just and compassionate approach.”