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
A final vote, expected to take place on
Wednesday, would send the measure to the House.
Tuesday's debate was at times
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
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.