Texas Legislature

Hundreds Testify In Latest Round Of Bathroom Bill Debate

Opponents far outnumbered supporters at the Senate committee hearing on SB 3 and SB 91. The bills would restrict transgender access to bathrooms and other facilities in public schools and government buildings.

All gender bathroom sign

The controversial Texas bathroom bill was up for debate in Austin again today. Republicans are aiming to restrict transgender bathroom access in public schools and government buildings. The legislation would require people to use the facilities of the gender on their birth certificate.

Special Coverage Of The 85th Texas Legislative Session

Special Coverage Of The 85th Texas Legislative Session

Dozens of transgender men and women testified against SB 3 and SB 91 over the course of the Senate committee hearing. One of the first was architect Ashley Smith. She recently grabbed headlines after having her photo taken with Governor Abbott.

“You know that transgender women encounter violence at a much higher level than the general public,” said Smith, “and I am scared to think about what some people will do to us if this bill becomes law.”

Just as passionate were those testifying for the bills, such as retired school teacher Sharon Armke. “Little children are at risk because the radical left, LGBTQ sex education programs are using the excuse of bathroom and shower access to actually promote gender confusion,” said Armke.

Several witnesses warned about the economic consequences of the legislation. Dottie Bossley spoke for the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. She said the island has already lost one major convention because of the bills.

“We have suffered our share of floods and hurricanes, but natural disasters are random and unpredictable,” said Bossley. “The economic suffering that could stem from the passage of SB 3 and 91 will be a direct result of the decisions made here by the people that we elect.”

At the current pace, the full Senate could vote on the bills by early next week.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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