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Houston Matters

Will the ‘Bathroom Bill’ Have Economic Implications for Texas?

Earlier this month (Jan. 5, 2017), State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, a Republican from Brenham, introduced a so-called “bathroom bill” for consideration at the Texas Legislature. Senate Bill 6, aka the Texas Privacy Act, is unquestionably controversial. It would require citizens to use the restroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate. Lt. Gov. Dan […]

Bathroom Sign - Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaEarlier this month (Jan. 5, 2017), State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, a Republican from Brenham, introduced a so-called “bathroom bill” for consideration at the Texas Legislature. Senate Bill 6, aka the Texas Privacy Act, is unquestionably controversial.

It would require citizens to use the restroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement that “this issue is not about discrimination — it's about public safety.” But others disagree, saying it discriminates against transgender Texans, and that it could be bad for business. Other states that have adopted similar laws have faced the withdrawal of major events from their cities.

We explore the economic implications of the proposed bill with Phillip Jones, president and CEO of Visit Dallas. The organization is part of a campaign called Texas Welcomes All, a coalition of businesses and tourism industry leaders aimed at promoting diversity in order to help Texas businesses. Then we hear from Dr. David D. Schein, director of graduate programs at the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas.

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