by Cary Cheshire
April 19, 2017
Capitol Bureau Chief
Backed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and a large number of conservative organizations, SB 6, also known as the Texas Privacy Act, passed the Texas Senate with unanimous support from Senate Republicans and Democrat State Sen. Eddie Lucio of Brownsville.
If passed by the House, the legislation would also pre-empt local ordinances seeking to dictate policies at private businesses. Additionally, the legislation would limit the use of bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms at government buildings (including public schools and universities) to biological sex.
When asked about the issue, social conservatives overwhelmingly preferred SB 6 to Simmons’ legislation, saying it is substantially stronger and more robust.
“Over a month ago Republicans in the Texas Senate overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 6 to protect the privacy and safety of Texas women and girls,” said Dr. Steve Hotze of Conservative Republicans of Texas. “The legislation is supported by over 84% of Texas Republican primary voters. Straus should let the people’s representatives vote on SB 6.”
“Why is it so difficult to legislate that Texans want ‘No Men in Women’s Bathrooms!’?” Hotze asked.
Simmons’ legislation will be considered in the State Affairs Committee chaired by State Rep. Byron Cook (R–Corsicana) tomorrow. Senate Bill 6 has been deliberately stalled by House Speaker Joe Straus, who opposes the legislation and refused to refer it to committee.
Abbott’s actions on the matter, while weak, are a marked improvement from earlier this year where he had refused to speak out on the issue other than an occasional tweet castigating the NFL for opposing the reform. He has refused to comment regarding SB 6, despite conservatives clamoring for him to get forcefully involved on the issue for months.
It is notable that Abbott did strongly support the campaign against men in women’s restrooms during the referendum on Houston’s equal rights ordinance (HERO) in 2015.
HOUSTON: Vote Texas values, not @HillaryClinton values. Vote NO on City of Houston Proposition 1. No men in women’s bathrooms.
- Cary Cheshire leads the Capitol Bureau for Empower Texans & Texas Scorecard. A 6th Generation Texan, Cary attended Texas A&M University and was active in a number of conservative causes including Ted Cruz’s Senate campaign. He has also worked on campaigns to elect conservatives to both Congress and the Texas Legislature.
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