Trans

Transgender Bathroom Panic Overtakes Texas Legislature's Emergency Session

The culture war can't take a potty break.

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transgender bathroom protest
Bob Daemmrich/Polaris/Newscom

You'd be forgiven for incorrectly thinking the governor of Texas put together a special legislative session entirely to decide which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use in public schools and other government buildings. National media coverage of the session has focused overwhelmingly on just one proposal under consideration: the transgender bathroom bill that won't go away.

In fact, Gov. Greg Abbott called the session because otherwise several state agencies that oversee licensing of a handful of occupations would otherwise have shut down. Under the state's sunshine sunsetting laws, the agencies need to be reauthorized every couple of years. These boards are responsible for overseeing examining and licensing of doctors, psychologists, therapists, and social workers.

But Abbott and Republican leaders also see the session as an opportunity to push their pet projects. One of those projects is SB 6, the bathroom bill, which didn't make it out of the Texas legislature during the regular session. Like North Carolina's infamous bathroom bill, SB 6 would require public school students and people in government buildings to use the restrooms and changing facilities that match the sex they have listed on their birth certificates. The law is to be enforced by fines against school districts or government agencies that don't police restroom use, reaching up to $10,500 for repeat violations.

This part of the law is an intrusive and unnecessary way of tackling something that isn't a problem—an alleged army of predators hoping to pose as the opposite sex in order to target girls in restrooms.

On the brighter side, the law also prohibits cities from passing their own laws telling private entities whether they must or must not accommodate transgender people in restrooms and changing rooms. These transgender accommodation laws tend to swing between complete bans or forced cooperation, and there's only occasionally a nugget that suggests that people can solve the problems on their own. (The worst part of the original law—which tacked on a bunch of new penalties for various existing crimes if they took place in bathrooms—is now gone entirely.)

In addition to the restroom debate, the legislature is looking at bills that would put new restrictions on abortions, prohibit the use of tax dollars to collect union dues, raise teachers' pay, and limiting cities' ability to ban residents from cutting down the trees on their own properties. The full slate of bills being considered can be skimmed at the Texas Tribune, along with links to related stories. Several of these proposals might actually be worthwhile, so it's a shame the bathroom silliness is dominating the coverage.

In particular, leaders want more school choice options for students with disabilities. School districts are resisting the legislation, which is fascinating, in that opponents of choice and charters often use "They don't serve kids as special needs!" as a line of attack when trying to block them. Now the argument is apparently, "The private schools aren't held accountable the way public schools are." Well, if public schools actually are held accountable for how they treat students with special needs, parents wouldn't be trying like hell to yank their kids out, would they?

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  1. In some ways, Texas is one of the sanest states. In othet ways, Texas is batshit insane. Must be all the batshit.

    1. This is actually a pretty good representation of Texas, and I say that having lived here my whole life.

      That being said, do not blame Carlsbad Caverns for the problems in Texas. Blame Austin. ^_^

  2. In my general absence I have not only missed out on Scott’s well written articles, yet his Alt-Text as Well.

    1. This one is first rate.

      1. Care to share for us mobile folk?

        1. But really, isn’t the issue here kind of about sitting down?

          In your favorite Scott voice.

          1. Thanks, HV-HV. I like to read Scott’s comments in a Nathan Fillion voice.

            1. Captain Hammer or Malcolm Reynolds with that southern twang?

  3. Since it comes up sometimes, I’m still deeply bothered about states passing laws that tell cities what sorts of laws they can pass rather than setting up a constitutional set or rights and powers and using the courts when cities overstep their bounds. Even when I like the outcome. (Property rights protected, for example)

    But this special session is full of complicated issues and I didn’t feel like I should drag another one into it. So the fact that I didn’t say “Should the state be telling cities they can’t pass laws about x or y?” doesn’t mean I still don’t feel that way. Just that there’s a time and place.

    1. I feel kinda bad that Certain Commenters are gonna skip right over your disclaimer here, Shaquille.

      1. I thought commentators skipped the articles but read the comments?

        1. Isn’t that the point of having a title, sub-title, and comments section?

        2. Well yeah. CNN provides enough fake news.

      2. Nice double entendre there.

      3. i only stopped because I saw “Shaquille”.

    2. states passing laws that tell cities what sorts of laws they can pass

      That part actually bothers me more than the trans-panic. I think it merits a separate post some day.

      1. Welcome to Federalism? Not sure what else to say.

        1. This is not so much about federalism as it is about states’ powers/rights. IOW it is about intrastate powers/rights.

          Cities, Counties etc are creatures of State governments but states are not creatures of the Federal Government, they are separate sovereign entities with powers granted (and denied to) separately from those granted to the FedGov.

          The US Constitution is silent about how powers are divided between state and local governments. Hence the conundrum that many libertarians feel on this issue.

          Some state have strong “home rule” provisions in their constitutions while others do not. No matter which standard prevails, I’m fairly sure most libertarians fall heavily on the “home rule” side.

    3. this … is full of complicated issues and I didn’t feel like I should drag another one into it. So the fact that I didn’t say….

      Scott,

      My hope is that your previous articles earned a readership that understands the nuances that you have mentioned. Even so, I understand the necessities of (re)declaring one’s previous stated stances.

    4. >>>Since it comes up sometimes

      so is this a professional euphemism?

    5. I am troubled by the notion that the courts are the proper places to decide policy issues, as well as the fact that cities do not have the same relationship to their states as the states have to the federal government.

    6. Since it comes up sometimes, I’m still deeply bothered about states passing laws that tell cities what sorts of laws they can pass rather than setting up a constitutional set or rights and powers and using the courts when cities overstep their bounds. Even when I like the outcome. (Property rights protected, for example)

      Given that cities have ZERO power — states GIVE them power and can unilaterally withdraw it — I see no reason for states to even bother with it. Give cities the amount of power they ACTUALLY have, namely none, and be done with it.

    7. “Should the state be telling cities they can’t pass laws about x or y?” doesn’t mean I still don’t feel that way. Just that there’s a time and place.

      C’mon Scott just admit that you think urban trees should be a protected class.

  4. “Under the state’s sunshine laws, the agencies need to be reauthorized every couple of years.”

    I think you mean *want* to be reauthorized. I wouldn’t say *need*.

  5. opponents of choice and charters often use “They don’t serve kids as special needs!” as a line of attack

    Really? Well, no wonder the opponents have trouble.

  6. Very trivial point, but it’s the Texas SUNSET Act that would eliminate the Medical Board without the special session.

    1. Doh. Stupid metaphors as legal terms. That’s actually what I meant and I’ll update the post.

  7. an alleged army of predators hoping to pose as the opposite sex in order to target girls in restrooms.

    I always forget that this is supposed to be the crux. We are talking about Big Bubba from the Hells Angels putting on a wig, walking into the girls restroom, looking at the chick washing her hands he/she says, “Don’t worry I cut it off…. PSYCHE!” and rapes her… that’s the jist? or am I totally misunderstanding?

    If I’m on point than I feel like this scenario could happen regardless of any transgender related questions. But hey, that’s just one guy’s opinion.

    1. I don’t understand the fear on its own terms.

      The reason we need a law saying people have to use the restroom corresponding to their biological sex is because, as you put it, Bubba the pedophile Hells Angel can put on a wig and go in the girls’ restroom at school, where he’ll be able to do as he pleases.

      But if, in this thought experiment, Bubba is already willing to lie (by putting on a dress), how would the law stop him? Now he’d just walk into the girls’ room without a dress on and say “I’m a trans man who was born female.” And do as he pleases.

      1. Duh. He is going to have to present his birth certificate before using the bathroom.

      2. “..,Bubba the pedophile Hells Angel can put on a wig and go in the girls’ restroom at school, where he’ll be able to do as he pleases.”

        Actually, he does not even need to do that. The accommodation laws effectively ban any enforcement of sex segregated spaces (not just bathrooms).

    2. That’s the scare tactic and it is so stupid. At the same time, allowing everyone to do anything will certainly open up the gates for a few real sickos to absolutely give it a try. I mean why not? if there are no ramifications for being a peeping Tom, why not try it? You can just say you are a women and deny you took a look.

      To me, this whole subject was best left alone as was all along. That is why it is such a total distraction technique dreamed up by the Obama marketing team. All pols love it now.

      1. Yeah. Doing nothing is really the best option here. There is no actual problem that needs to be solved. Just use whatever bathroom you can get away with using.

        1. We are at that point where we need the government to tell us which bathroom to use. Orwell could have never predicted.

  8. Before this crisis was made up, I would have never known if there was a tranny in my vicinity unless it had a 5 o’clock shadow or an adam’s apple as big as Bea Arthur’s dick.

    Seems like this is all unnecessary.
    And obviously another successful distraction.

    It should be dealt with as such. If you cannot obviously tell, who cares. If John Goodman decides to go into the ladies room, he should not be allowed to and would likely be dealt with accordingly anyway. There are not that many trannies out there to warrant further discussion.
    Its like saying we need to ramp up the discussion surrounding the .1% of people who believe in aliens and sasquatches. A small minority of people do not warrant major political/legislative change. When it cannot be dealt with in a rational economic way that is fair to all, then these mentally disturbed people will just have to act like their real sex when they go potty. .

    1. I reckon it’s all about symbolic legal affirmation of trans peoples…. rights? existence?

      1. Indeed. Dudes have the right to use the men’s room and woman have the right of the alternative. When everything else is so ambiguous and confusing, status quo should remain the norm for now I guess.

        We feel bad for other mental cases as well but we do not create entire social justice cases for them regarding bathrooms. And certainly have not spent this much money litigating the subject I don’t think.

        I’m sure I could be corrected there but seems like I don’t remember the outrage for the rights of the mentally disturbed in other areas.


        1. I’m sure I could be corrected there but seems like I don’t remember the outrage for the rights of the mentally disturbed in other areas.

          Well, in the past there was a thing called subjective reality but now everything is relative. Without anything that is considered ‘reality’ we’re left with people who legitimately seem to believe that a person can legally be considered a parakeet and no one bats an eye.

          Is there any other mental illness that results in disparate suicide rates that we coddle instead of treat? Or a mental illness where drastic surgery is considered a treatment? Honestly curious, if I claim to be Napoleon does that mean I get to rule France?

          1. Agreed. The whole subject is f*cked up. If I thought I was Jesus Christ, would a law and a surgery be in the cards as a birth right?

            These people used to be murdered by the government like in Wako. be careful what you ask for trannies.

  9. Transgender Bathroom Panic The Fight For Property Rights Overtakes Texas Legislature’s Emergency Session

    There. More accurate.

    Not very long ago, resident Marxian (whose brain orbits planet Marx) Tony argued that ‘Property Rights’ was code phrase for discrimination. I told him that he was absolutely right, because private property means discriminating against people who are not welcome in your property.

    1. You don’t get to be an anarchist and say government should force people to get genital checks outside of restrooms.

      1. How can people laugh with all the suffering going on in the world? ….

      2. Tony is like Obama shooting free throws: he misses every point. Probably while wearing mom jeans, too.

        1. Old Mexican is a self-described anarchist. Hence, he can’t argue that government should force people to do pants checks outside bathrooms. At least not while being philosophically consistent. In fact he’s not really entitled to believe in property rights at all, as we’ve discussed many times, each time devolving to him mumbling something pathetic about his Smith & Wesson.

          1. Another miss! Give up, Tony.

          2. jibbity jibbity and a rat-a-tat-tat.

          3. We will probably not live to see an anarchist or minarchist society. So long as there is a government, it’s possible to have an opinion on what things it should do while it’s here, since we aren’t completely free to enforce our own property rights. That’s at the heart of some of the most contentious topics for us, especially immigration

            For instance, we oppose much of what the police do. Some may even call for a privately run security force as an alternative. But so long as we have police, it sure would be nice if they went out and caught the murderers. Every sane libertarian or anarchist would probably agree

            I’m not saying I agree with OM’s opinion here, nor am I even clear as to whether or not you’re accurately representing it (I’m leaning towards no), but you’re still not nearly as clever as you think. In fact, I maintain that you have Asperger’s

            1. After actually reading more of the article as well as the links, yeah OM’s opinion is a dud. It’s not property rights at all

              Either way though there are plenty of anarchists who still have an opinion of what the government should be doing while it exists. They can be wrong, as OM emphatically is, but that doesn’t make someone not an anarchist. Hell, try listening to Michael Malice make the point that Alexander Hamilton is underrated

      3. You don’t claim to be for women’s privacy rights and tell them they must change their clothes in front of an adult of the opposite sex.

    2. Isn’t the proposed law about bathrooms in government owned buildings?

      And if it did apply to private property, it would violate property rights just as much as a law requiring private property owners to let people use the bathroom corresponding to their preferred gender identity.

      So in this case, I don’t think your version is more accurate.

    3. The bill is for public schools and government buildings. Whose property rights are you defending again?

      Also, how do you enforce such a law?

  10. I am outraged by the implication that women can’t pee standing. How dare you!

    1. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong with the article; but this is clearly it.

      1. It takes two fingers.

        1. I just inverted the women standing up to pee funnel. And it is copyrighted bitches!

          1. Invented!!. I would never invert it unless tony was standing in front of me.

            1. The Shenis has been around like forever, man.

                1. Sorry. Dammit. I guess I will be sued soon. Should have done some research first. My wife refused to use it.

                  That’s what I get for hiring brak o to try and make me a profit.

              1. It’s existed for a long time. It’s called a funnel.

          2. S.O. got one for Kiliminjaro…it’s comical

      2. I am always surprised by the biting misogyny even though by now I should expect it, especially when it comes from a WHITE MAN.

        #theresistance will only get stronger!

  11. Government small enough that it fits inside your underpants.

    1. I am not surprised that is what you named your buttplug.

      1. It doesn’t seem to be doing a very good job at regulating his diarrhea.

    2. Real libertarians consider undergarments to be as restrictive as government, and live their life free of oppression.

      Try it sometime – join the dark side. You know you want to.

      1. Since tony has the testes of a gorilla, I don’t think he would notice any difference.

        1. I am not going to fall for this obvious attempt to get a sext out of me.

      2. What a fruitful metaphor. See, my boxer briefs restrict a trivial kind of freedom (the freedom of my junk to flop around) but in doing so thus produce a nontrivial freedom (the ability to walk around without worrying about said flopping). Hence the very nature of government.

        1. So you are too scared to live a restriction-free, unencumbered life?

          This has been fruitful.

          1. I’ve sacrificed a trivial freedom for the purpose of gaining access to a useful freedom.

            Nobody wants to live the short, brutish life a libertarian society offers, and I don’t really understand the philosophy behind not wearing underwear either.

            1. I don’t really understand the philosophy behind not wearing underwear either.

              You comments have proven that time and time again. It’s okay to be intimidated by the thought of living a life free of unnecessary encumbrances – you’re not alone. Give it a try sometime. Baby steps. You know, take a vacation from your authoritarian self.

              1. Seriously tony. I thought lefties were the outgoing, risk taking, try the newest thing, challenge the establishment types.

                Or I guess you have morphed into the rule following, order enforcing, panic induced pussy that all lefties are.

                You need to start wearing a genital cuff.

                1. Righties are writing laws about the transgender menace in bathrooms, something you’re defending by the way, and lefties are the panicked ones?

                  1. Who here is defending this retarded law?

              2. This is Tony in a nutshell (ahem):
                I hate free ballin’ and don’t understand it, therefore you should not be allowed to do it!

                1. The context was limited to trivial vs. nontrivial liberties. As freeballing can’t negatively affect other people (that I know of), I wouldn’t favor regulating it.

                  1. Oh no. You don’t get off that easy.

                    See, my boxer briefs restrict a trivial kind of freedom (the freedom of my junk to flop around) but in doing so thus produce a nontrivial freedom (the ability to walk around without worrying about said flopping). Hence the very nature of government.

                    Since when did your form of government not coerce everybody? You’re the one with the comparison of boxer briefs to government.

                    1. So maybe it wasn’t that fruitful a metaphor.

                  2. As freeballing can’t negatively affect other people (that I know of),

                    You’ve obviously never sat next to Crusty at FreedomFest.

                2. He is a sad soul indeed.
                  The buzzing in his head must be enough to drive one mad. Or at least enough to argue subjects he cannot fathom with strangers and not get that everyone is just f*cking with him.

                  Or he is just a masochist.

            2. >>>the philosophy behind not wearing underwear

              is to get girls to not wear underwear…der.

              1. Monkey see monkey do? “I love a guy who’s unhygienic”? I don’t follow.

                1. Man married to man here, so my perspective isn’t the same as a woman, but… Yeah. Free-balling is kind of hot. Especially if he’s also wearing a kilt.

      3. I do like wearing my kilt…

  12. She’s hot. I’d hit on her.

  13. She’s hot. I’d hit on her.

  14. In fact, Gov. Greg Abbott called the session because otherwise several state agencies that oversee licensing of a handful of occupations would otherwise have shut down. Under the state’s sunshine sunsetting laws, the agencies need to be reauthorized every couple of years. These boards are responsible for overseeing examining and licensing of doctors, psychologists, therapists, and social workers.

    How did it come to be that a core function of government was over-looked to the point where a special session of the lege was necessary to deal with it? How the hell do the gatekeepers forget that they’re supposed to be collecting tolls and keeping out the riff-raff?

  15. Based on the description in the article, I’m not seeing a problem with the “bathroom bill” – it says that people who use restrooms in public buildings have to use the one that corresponds to the gender in their birth certificate and preempts cities from passing laws telling the owners of private restrooms who has to or is allowed to use them. Seems like a win for commonsense and private property rights.

    1. But certainly not limited government, we can all agree.

      You know what with the fines for not checking people’s genitals at bathroom doors. Or the forbidding of cities from foregoing such nonsense.

    2. The second part is not so bad. But the first part is a practically unenforceable (will someone be checking birth certificates?) response to a completely non-existent problem.

  16. You don’t know about you guys, but I have enough trouble pooping when there’s a dude in the next stall. I might as well have constipation if a chick is gonna be in there. Keep chicks outta my potty.

    1. Same here, man. I’ll run home if i gotta make plop-plops. And if my wife is there, i turn on the fan and yell at her not to listen.

      1. At home is the only place I feel unashamed to release the sound and fury.

        1. Even then, I get a little bashful.

      2. I have a similar problem. Therefore, if someone is sitting in the stall next to me, I sing to drown out their sounds.

      3. I’m gonna start calling you “shitbreak” from now on then.

    2. I don’t share your beta compunctions – I have a doo whenever and where ever the need have a doo arises, because women are aroused, in an animalistic sense, by a man having a doo in their presence. It’s science.

      1. Yeah, well, not everybody’s main form of communication is smells.

      2. next time, find Wendy Davis’ shoes

      3. Fun fact: Crusty produces two types of poop , though you will likely never observe the second type.

      4. Me neither. In fact, I like making as much noise as possible

  17. I look forward to a calm, rational discussion in these comments…

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!11!1111!!!!!!! Yeah, right.

  18. Question under this law: Can a mom still escort her young male child into the either the women’s room or men’s room? If the can’t, could they then be cited for neglect because they weren’t watching their child every second?

    1. No, that would be ridiculous. This law wouldn’t affect any individuals in any way. It affects cities. Also, the bill has literally gotten nowhere. There are about 6 legislative hurdles a bill has to pass through to become a law. None of the LGBT laws for the 85th session have gotten through any of them. The same is true for the emergency session. Given that the Texas Leg only meets for 140 days every other year, this isn’t anyone’s priority other than the guy that sponsored the bill.

  19. Everytime the bullshit laws are brought up, I think of my sister. She had some medical issues related to the bathroom that means when she needs to “go”, she really can’t wait.

    So there have been multiple times when she found the women’s room “closed for cleaning/maintenance/what-not” where she just walked on in to the men’s room.

    These laws would make her a criminal.

    So fuck Texas. With a rake. Sideways.

    1. No, no the law wouldn’t. There are zero penalties, fines, or restrictions on individuals. It allows the state attorney to sue local municipalities that pass ordinances that allow for people to use a bathroom of a sex other than what’s listed on their IDs. It wouldn’t affect your sister at all.

  20. Is this a way to get Trans people interested in school choice?

  21. “Transgender Bathroom Panic”

    There is not an honest word in that phrase.

  22. I see no issue with guidelines based on science and not feelings. Sorry, trannies.

  23. You cannot make rules based on a single outlier. Sorry for your sister, but you cannot have any rule in society that covers EVERY possible scenario.

    And men, generally, have never had a huge problem with women in the men’s room.

    Vice versa tends to be a problem and people being FORCED to allow either sex into the other sex’s restroom is a problem.

  24. Here’s the problem in a nutshell–

    The reason we need a law saying people have to use the restroom corresponding to their biological sex is because, as you put it, Bubba the pedophile Hells Angel can put on a wig and go in the girls’ restroom at school, where he’ll be able to do as he pleases.

    See the bolded part? We DON”T need that law.

    We HAVE had laws like that passed however because other people have passed laws or issued decrees from on high that private citizens must allow ‘gender incoherence’* in their bathrooms, shower rooms, locker rooms and changing areas.

    Prior to the SJW community suddenly deciding to switch to caring about ‘trans’ rights, there was no law at all–and none was needed–because there are so few trans people that the situation could be, and was, handled on an individual basis.

    The stupid laws are stupid responses to other stupid laws.

    *’gender incoherence’ is that state that exists when the activists are unclear exactly how ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ should be handled but anything you do is wrong and you must do what they say even when they haven’t said it.

  25. When do We The MAJORITY of the people get to say what is important to us. It’s important to me that my little granddaughters can use the bathroom without the worry of being assaulted or worse. It’s important to me that my grandsons use the bathroom without being accused of any number of crimes that can be alleged against them. Where is the sanity in this law? Where is the morals in this country? We the MAJORITY do NOT agree with this being pushed on us! We need to VOTE on something of this magnitude being FORCED upon us. Tha s my opinion and I’m not alone.

  26. Y’all got one fact wrong. It would allow the state to sue local municipalities that allow for people to use public bathrooms that aren’t the same as on their IDs, not birth certificates. So, if a trans person has changed their sex on their IDs, then they can use that one. I don’t really have an opinion, but Texans are nothing if not pragmatic. And, that’s pretty solid middle ground.

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