After holding a nearly 5-hour debate, the Texas Senate on Tuesday gave initial approve of a bill that seeks to prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice in many buildings.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, one Democrat, Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville, joined all 20 Republicans to approve the bill with a 21-10 margin.

A final vote, expected to take place on Wednesday, would send the measure to the House.

Tuesday's debate was at times passionate.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Lois Kolkhorst, said that she was “standing up for those who want privacy and protection in the most intimate places.”

“This is about finding a balance between the right to declare your gender and the right of a parent to defend a child's interest,” she added.

Democratic Senator Sylvia Garcia said that the bill would “put additional stigma and embarrassment” on transgender people, which in turn would likely increase the suicide rate among transgender Texans.

“Do you not see how much damage this bill is going to do?” she asked colleagues.

Democrats offered 17 amendments to the bill, all of which were struck down by Republicans with help from Lucio.

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.