Texas Senate approves ‘bathroom bill’ News
Texas Senate approves ‘bathroom bill’

[JURIST] The Texas Senate [official website] on Tuesday approved the Texas Privacy Act [SB 6], which would require people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender listed on their birth certificate. Passed by a 21-10 vote along party lines, the bill would override city ordinances and other practices that permit people to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identities in public schools, universities and government facilities. Upon the bill’s passage, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick [official profile] stated [press release]:

The people of Texas elected us to stand by our principles and uphold conservative values. The Texas Privacy Act reflects common decency and common sense and is essential to protect public safety. It protects Texas businesses and codifies what has always been common practice in Texas and everywhere else — that men, women, boys and girls should use separate, designated restrooms, locker rooms and showers in government buildings and public schools.

The bill will now move to the Texas House of Representatives, where House Speaker Joe Straus [official websites] has expressed hesitance about passing the bill.

Approved by Senate committee last week, the Texas Privacy Act is one of a variety of nationwide gender-based restroom restrictions. Earlier last week the US Supreme Court vacated [JURIST report] a lower court ruling in a case concerning transgender restroom policies following a move by the Trump administration to rescind guidelines that school districts should allow students to use the bathroom of their choice. Also in March, 11 states, led by Texas, filed a document [JURIST report] in federal court to withdraw a lawsuit against the US government, a week after a “Dear Colleague letter” from the Department of Justice overturned Obama-era guidance regarding bathroom use by transgender students. In February North Carolina lawmakers filed a bipartisan bill [JURIST report] aimed at breaking the impasse over that state’s “bathroom bill.”