Texas lawmakers propose version of NC's bathroom bill
- Texas lawmakers this week advanced a bill calling for transgender citizens to use public bathrooms which coincide with the gender listed on their birth certificates, causing many observers in the state concern over potential fallout similar to that in North Carolina.
- SB6 has already drawn criticism from advocacy groups such as the American College Personnel Association, which says it will keep its 2018 national conference in Houston, but plans to use the event to advocate against any passed legislation.
- Language in the bill allows for publicly-owned facilities which are privately leased to dictate the terms of bathroom usage, a sign of concession for the state and its cities to maintain contracts with organizations like the NCAA.
Texas is certain to take a public relations hit that will be worse than what happened in North Carolina, because the HB2 movement is still ongoing and critics will say that in spite of its consequences, Texas pressed forward in a perceived movement to discriminate against some of its citizens.
For college presidents, particularly at religious institutions where this initiative may find a significant number of supporters but which could be affected by the estimated $8 billion in lost revenue from pulled events and conferences, the message must be about tolerance for diversity, respect for law, and how to advocate for a policy view in a constructive way. Most of all, leadership must continue to call for civility and lead their campuses in healthy dialog on these issues.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Despite risk of backlash, Texas politicians advance a ‘Bathroom Bill’ like North Carolina’s