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Religious Groups Run Ad Blitzes Both For And Against “Bathroom Bill”

Senate Bill 3 remains stalled in the Texas House, with the end of the special session just a week and a half away.


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All gender bathroom sign
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With less than two weeks to go in the special session, lobbying efforts over the so-called bathroom bill are growing more intense. Faith-based organizations are playing a major role, both as advocates and opponents of the legislation.

If you've been watching TV or listening to commercial radio lately, you may have heard these voices before.

Shiloh: "It makes me feel uncomfortable that a boy could be in the same restroom as me…"

Kimberly Shappley: " the mom of a transgender child, I'm urging our leaders to protect my daughter and oppose these harmful bills. Let's embrace Christian compassion..."

Pro-bill ads from groups like Texas Values have been dueling with anti-bill commercials from groups like Texas Impact. Even secular groups, like the Texas Association of Business, are tailoring some of their messages to reach the faithful.

"I've been impressed with the degree to which, you know, religious voices have been making themselves heard in this debate on both sides," says David Brockman, a nonresident scholar with the Religion and Public Policy Program at Rice University's Baker Institute.

The bill to restrict transgender bathroom access hasn't moved in the House since it arrived from the Senate nearly two weeks ago. Pastors supporting the bill have rallied at the State Capitol, demanding House GOP leaders bring it up for a vote. Clergy against the bill have argued just as strongly for Speaker Joe Straus to keep it bottled up.

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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 Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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