Trans

Transgender Bathroom Panic Legislation Comes to Texas

Bill controls school accommodations and also increases penalties for some crimes.

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Restroom sign
urtaev / Dreamstime.com

Texas wants its own slice of North Carolina's bathroom panic culture wars, or at least its lieutenant governor does.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has introduced Senate Bill 6, which mimics parts of North Carolina's HB2, specifically the parts focusing on transgender bathroom and gender-segregated facility use. Senate Bill 6 forbids municipalities within Texas from passing laws requiring or preventing private businesses from setting their own policies on how or whether to accommodate the different sexes in their bathrooms or changing facilities. Senate Bill 6, though, also requires the people use the restrooms of facilities of the genders listed on their birth certificates in public schools and government-owned buildings. It does permit the use of single-person unisex bathrooms as a form of accommodation.

Those components match what North Carolina had previously passed. In other ways the Texas bill is less powerful. It doesn't have anything preventing municipalities from expanding antidiscrimination or even public accommodation categories outside gendered facility use. North Carolina's law stopped cities (Charlotte in this case) from adding gay and transgender categories to its antidiscrimination ordinances. It also doesn't forbid cities from setting their own minimum wage laws, something also in North Carolina's bill.

But in other ways, the Texas legislation has more teeth. The state's attorney general will be able to sue school districts or governments and get civil judgments and fines (and "reasonable attorney's fees" and other forms of repayment) if they do not follow the law. And it allows people to file complaints to force investigations if schools or government building do not enforce the law.

Separately, the law also increases the penalties for a whole host of other crimes if they take place in bathrooms or changing rooms (including several different prostitution crimes). Regardless of whether somebody believes that transgender folks should be able to pick their restrooms, using unfounded fears as a way to sneak through increased criminal penalties is … well, very common, but worth resisting nevertheless.

This law doesn't just control how schools accommodate transgender students, it forces them to become bathroom monitors under threat of fines. It's another frustrating example where the law protects the right for private businesses to set their own facility use rules but then requires government employees to refuse to respect the identities of the people they are supposed to be serving.

Since the law was just introduced this week, it is too soon to predict whether it will actually pass. But even though North Carolina's governor lost re-election, partly over outrage due to the passage of HB 2, the law remained intact after an attempted compromise to rescind the law failed.

Read the text of Senate Bill 6 here and coverage of the bill's introduction here.

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  1. I have no earthly idea what is going on with this sign.

    Hipsters to the left – go to the right if you feel pretty.

    1. I think the sign is telling me my “camisole and no pants” ensemble is finally allowed.

      1. Yuh, it looks like “wimmens with ties go left, dudes with baby straps go right.” I’m sure your camisole will fit in somehow.

        1. Maybe that’s supposed to be a sports bra, but I frequently tie my camis so that they are a little shorter, hence the confusion.

          1. Because how else are you going to show off that stunning midriff, right?

            1. When you’ve got it, flaunt it.

              1. Crusty’s exposed midriff outfit is only tolerated because his meat curtain covers his unmentionables.

    2. Men and women wearing neckties to the left, women and men wearing bras to the right.

    3. Pretty sure in any event it’s SEXIST!

  2. So no showering with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders after a workout at LA fitness? May as well cancel that membership.

  3. Does this mean my having a penis will prevent me from joining the local Curves franchise?

  4. Separately, the law also increases the penalties for a whole host of other crimes if they take place in bathrooms or changing rooms (including several different prostitution crimes)

    Yeah, I don’t actually recall people pointing out in hysteric hyperbole the dangers to women and muh lil’ girl because predatory transsexuals might offer $10 B in the ladies’ room. Was anyone scared of that? Really? I think they’re making this up.

    1. Squirrels ate my acronym. Bastards.

    2. Leading up to the HERO vote here in Houston I got dozens of pamphlets from various conservative groups saying that if it was passed your daughters would be open season for rape. I assume this is was they are going for.

      1. Bored housewives slumming it up in the Galleria need market protections too.

      2. Wait til she gets her college brochures

  5. Fuck you cut spending! (and regulations and taxes)

    Hopefully this is just one of the million circle-jerk bills that will be proposed and never go anywhere before the legislature runs out of time in 6 months.

  6. Texas has to be a pretty sweet place to live if this is the only thing the legislature has to worry about.

    1. Did Scott mention that every bathroom will need to have a Gardasil dispenser?

    2. They’re just girding themselves for the eventual flip to Progtopia Part 2: Electric Bugaloo when we reach critical mass of Californian immigrants.

  7. “Senate Bill 6 forbids municipalities within Texas from passing laws requiring or preventing private businesses from setting their own policies on how or whether to accommodate the different sexes in their bathrooms or changing facilities.”

    How about: The bill would provide that the right of businesses to run their own bathrooms or changing facilities supersedes any local “gay rights” or “trans rights” laws.

    But I really don’t know what to think, given the Great Debate between Shackford and Boehm on state legislatures overruling local governments.

  8. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

    He should have stuck to sports.

    1. I figured the joke would have been taken already. 🙂

  9. Boycott that fucking hellhole!

    1. Don’t boycott the glory hole, however.

  10. Hmmm, I wonder why it only applies to municipalities and not counties?

    1. Do Texas counties have the ability to pass such things?

    2. “Political subdivision” means a governmental
      entity of this state that is not a state agency and includes a
      county, municipality, special purpose district or authority, and
      junior college district. The term does not include a school
      district.

      1. I tend to use “municipality” as shorthand for “local governments, including county,” which I realize isn’t entirely accurate and I should stop.

        1. *narrows gaze*

          You get off with a warning….this time.

    3. School Districts are in their too but are separately dealt with.

  11. The liberals have issued a challenge, and now we must take it up!! This is the hill we MUST die on!!

    And that seems to be the conservative mentality on social issues for the past couple years.

    1. So you do not think there should be pushback against the left making their mores mandatory through court decisions and regulation?

    2. When people are losing jobs and businesses over the left’s pushing these issues, it’s kind of hard NOT to make this the “hill to die on”.

  12. Let’s just consider this thread a place of silent reflection.

  13. Senate Bill 6 forbids municipalities within Texas from passing laws requiring or preventing private businesses from setting their own policies on how or whether to accommodate the different sexes in their bathrooms or changing facilities.

    So its purpose is to protect private property owners?

    Why, someone stop these crazies! What are private property rights compared to the protection of the wittle fweelings of the Transgies?

  14. Why is Reason so obsessed with about where people take a dump?

    1. It seems that it is my Lt. Governor who is obsessed with it and Reason is merely reporting on his obsession.

      1. See Timbo below. Reason is easily trolled by this shit.

        1. It’s not trolling, its the fucking Lt. Gov submitting a bill to be passed and as a Texan I’m interested in it. I do however think it is likely to go nowhere in the legislature because they have a lot of other shit to do.

          1. “it is likely to go nowhere in the legislature because they have a lot of other shit to do.”

            *sighs, begins to narrow gaze, gives up*

    2. Because many libertarian pundits are just college professors who are disconnected from things that matter. Kind of like every economist and FED chairman.

      people who operate in the for-profit business world knew this was a scam distraction from day one.

      But a pretty damn funny one. That picture that Kurt Schilling got fired over was hilarious.

      1. The law isn’t limited to for profit businesses. It mandates discrimination in public facilities.

        1. Not what I was saying.

        2. If you consider having separate facilities for males and females discriminatory, but that is the status quo.

  15. So this is a bill to do nothing? Why bring it up?

    And how many trannies are really raising a stink about which bathroom they can use.

    Does anyone really still think this was not contrived out of thin air to distract from D.C.’s obvious failings?

  16. When will someone have the courage to make Why Didn’t You Go Before We Left a law?

    1. Or What Did I Just Say? law

  17. Senate Bill 6 forbids municipalities within Texas from passing laws requiring or preventing private businesses from setting their own policies on how or whether to accommodate the different sexes in their bathrooms or changing facilities.

    Sounds pretty libertarian to me. Is this part of the “panic”?

    Senate Bill 6, though, also requires the people use the restrooms of facilities of the genders listed on their birth certificates in public schools and government-owned buildings. It does permit the use of single-person unisex bathrooms as a form of accommodation.

    Public facilities can/should have policies on how those facilities are used, right? Unisex is OK, right? So the “panic”, I guess, is the codification of the universal practice since sex-specific bathrooms were invented? Really?

    Protip: Birth certificates don’t list gender. Gender is not the same as sex. Try not to let the proggies destroy the language, please.

    1. I ain’t usin no water fountain after a straight, white male used it. I can tell you that.

    2. It’s a waste of their fucking time and will cost money we don’t have to enforce.

      If they passed a law preventing all anti-discrimination laws in state that would be great but even by that standard its a waste of fucking time as it is solely limited to trans in bathrooms.

      1. I wish more people would discriminate against everyone else. Increasing my customer base would be that much easier.

  18. Thet need to pass a law mandating separate facilities for tech nerds. Those guys always save their deuces for company time and it’s always taco bell

  19. This is why ISIS hates us by the way.

    They have to worry about psycho’s in bomb coats.

    We want to make sure some mentally twisted fruit can get his junk cut off for free.

  20. it forces them to become bathroom monitors under threat of fines.

    They are schools Scott. Monitoring the bathrooms and the classrooms and everything else is part of what they do.

    1. Yeah, what we really need is make schools even more like prisons!

      1. Texas schools received their report cards.

        Local ISD elementary scored three F’s and an A. They’re not learning shit and it ain’t getting better, but the students attend every day. *throws hat in air*

      2. Yeah, because children do not need any level of extra supervision. Nope, you can run a building full of 10 year old kids exactly the same way you would a building full of adults.

  21. Sec. 12.501 is fucking retarded. Its basically a hate-crime enhancer but for fucking bathrooms instead.

    1. If people are caught fucking in a bathroom (and it is defined as any bathroom public or private) their offense will be moved to the next higher category of offense.

      Even for a real crime like Murder why the fuck should the fact that the murder occurred in a bathroom have a penalty enhancement?

      1. Uh, because that’s really gross for the people who have to process the crime scene. What someone took a giant, nasty dump in the stall next to the body and didn’t flush?

      2. Ah, I thought it was enhancing for people who fucked a bathroom. I would recommend death, if they roger the plumbing!

        1. Does “roger the plumbing” mean to give someone a swirly whilst doing it doggy style?

        2. I say! All plumbing is precious! Many of you don’t know what a country three-holer is*, and you are happier and healthier people for it!

          *Except Brandi Jo Lynn. Good clean fun by comparison, but not what I’m referring to.

          1. Do tell for Christ’s sake

  22. Just for the record, transgender bathrooms are an affront to Muslims and an infringement on their right to the free exercise of their religion.

    Also, a disproportionate share of the transgendered are white people so there’s a blatant racial disparate impact there.

    And don’t get me started on the ableism or the sizeism – since neither blind people nor fat people can see their genitals they have no idea what gender they are.

    1. You Kid Jerry but everything you say is true.

    2. Seriously. Talk about cultural appropriation.

      Is there anything more offensive than assuming a tranny is somehow superior to a woman? Woman are only offered one bathroom when the majority of trannies are men becoming woman. That means they get access to twice as many bathrooms in theory.

      And muslims might all be trannies. The man and woman wear what appear to be dresses.

      This whole thing is rife with unintended consequences.

    3. You missed the biggest one:

      A disproportionate number of transgendered are M – F. This means opening up the other bathroom for transgendered means a disparate impact on women, since they will have to share their bathroom with biological males more than men will have to share their bathroom with biological females.

      1. So women hardest hit?

      2. And the women already have the longer lines!

  23. Transgender Bathroom Panic Legislation Comes to Texas

    Of Montreal is on tour again?

    1. I thought that was a New York Dolls live concert bootleg recording.

  24. Was anyone outside of the media ever really panicked about transgender bathrooms?

    I don’t see it.

    1. Yes. Then you aren’t looking.

      1. There has been a lot of talk that transgendereds are going to die if the they do not get a legally enforceable right to use the opposite sexes facilities. That does seem a bit panicky.

  25. You either have to give up on your transsexual crusade or start overreacting to both sides. You never mention when local governments mandate bathroom policies to private businesses, like in Massachusetts and Washington DC (you did belatedly in the case of Charlotte) and you hardly freak out when the president unilaterally reinterprets Title IX with no regard for the plain text or Congress’ intention. I get it this is hip and a sure fire way to ensure those cocktail party invitations, but your moral outrage over every stupid bathroom bill that you even admit only effects less than 1% of the population is god-damn boring.

    And I’m just going to say something that isn’t hip and is sure to not get me invited to cocktail parties: segregating bathrooms according to sex organs is not the second coming of Jim Crow.

    My God, grow-up, Shackford

    1. Regardless of your take on tranny rights, the fact that federal agencies are unilaterally expanding their authority to cover transgender discrimination without a shred of statutory authority should give a libertarian writer pause. Because there is not one single federal statute that uses the term “gender discrimination”, only “sex discrimination”.

      And sex ain’t gender. Ask any gender-rights activist.

  26. “Regardless of whether somebody believes that transgender folks should be able to pick their restrooms, using unfounded fears as a way to sneak through increased criminal penalties”
    In what way exactly are the fears unfounded? Dept Educ forced a school district in Illinois to allow a boy to use the girls’ locker room, and said a separate changing area was not ok. NYC mandates now that all government restrooms must accomodate transgenders however they wish.
    John who wants to be a girl wants to use the high school girls’ locker room. The girls are freaking out. Who’s rights are being respected? Is it ok with you for a boy to shower with your daughters? People including Reason writers keep talking about this in the abstract but there are real issues of sexual modesty and privacy involved. Real people. These are not unfounded fears at all just because transgenders are rare. For the girls in the high school mentioned above, all the girls quit showering after gym class. ewww. They even staged a walk-out. Citing the Japanese hot baths as precedent is not helpful–we are not Japan.

  27. Dumbest fuckin’ issue ever. Until the next proggie assault on values. Stupid party takes the bait. It is like watching a cripple fight.

    Hillary lost the election because she was unable to engage her party’s voters. Right. I recommend they keep trying to out-stupid the stupid party.

    1. Stupid party takes the bait.

      Next time you get fired for having bad

      1. *grrrr…

        The next time you are fired over badwrongthoughts remember that the “stupid party” was trying to prevent it.

        But that’s okay, because “smart party” is totally on The Right Side of History on everything, and any pushback in the political arena is a sign of mental deficiency.

  28. Sleet and snow here. Hunkering down with a fire, a pot of cowboy stew and vodka. I don’t plan on going anywhere until tuesday.

    Cowboy stew (the chop suey of chili ):

    One medium onion, one medium bell pepper (four lobed bells are sweeter than three in case you didn’t know) chopped finely.

    One pound of ground beef browned and drained.

    Combine and cook over medium heat until onions are clear and the bell pepper is soft.

    Mix in garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and paprika until meat is strongly spiced.

    Add in one can of whole kernel corn, one can of unseasoned black beans, two cans of diced tomatoes (if you like spicy add rotel tomatoes), and two cups of beef broth (or two cubes of beef bouillon) 1/2 cup of red wine and a tablespoon of sugar (or splenda)

    Stir in clamato juice until the consistency is that of a thick soup. Add one half capful of zataran’s liquid crab boil (a wonderful addition to anything with beans, chili, spaghetti sauce or anything with tomatoes really)

    Cook over a low boil for an hour. Serve in a bowl over corn chips and sprinkle generous amounts of sharp cheddar over the top. Guaranteed to keep you warm on a cold day. Try not to over-eat, I dare you.

    1. SOunds good.

  29. I am always late to these discussions. Gotta work.

    Anyway, can somebody please explain this national obsession with bathrooms? What is being requested? Should bathrooms be open to all sexes all the time? I think women don’t want to use the bathroom with a man present, and vice versa. Is that old fashioned? Am I some sort of monster because I like bathrooms segregated by sex?

    Seriously, I do not understand what this is all about?

    1. The goal is not “bathroom access equality”, but rather creating a new set of guidelines for punishing people of they don’t give full-throated support to abnormal behavior.

    2. A guy who thinks he is a girl but has not had surgery yet insists it is discrimination if he can’t use the ladies bathroom AND showers (even in high school). The left decided this is the new big civil rights issue and started passing laws allowing it (like in Charlotte and DC) and filing lawsuits, so the Right is pushing back, which is simply barbaric and heathen. Women who freak out when a person with a penis comes into their facilities are bigots and need to get over it. Men are creeped out but don’t freak because they aren’t afraid of stuff like this, except in elementary/high schools where it would be a big problem.
      Clear?

  30. And to think I was worried no cared about the real issues threatening our life, liberty and property in the Republic these days.

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