Texas Bathroom Bill
October 31, 2017
A bill that would limit bathroom use for transgender people was proposed by the Texas Legislature over the summer, but it failed.
The “Bathroom Bill,” also known as Senate Bill 6, would have restricted people to only use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate. The bill was sponsored by many state senators including State Senator Charles Schwertner, who represents our area.
After failing in the senate during the regular legislative session last spring, the issue of bathroom regulations was made a priority at a special session called by Governor Greg Abbott, where it again failed. Although the bill was unsuccessful, the issue could be brought up in legislation during the next legislative session in 2019.
The issue of gender in politics is much-divided, and here at Cedar Ridge students also have a wide variety of opinions on the subject. Some people oppose the bill saying that restricting people from public places is irrational because they aren’t there to harm you.
“I oppose the bill because you shouldn’t restrict the things that make people comfortable. I am not transgender so I shouldn’t be able to decide what bathroom they go to for them. I think that the bill is about trying to forbid unconventional people existing in public spaces,” Natalya Bomani (12) said.
Some people see it as an issue of personal space. “Everyone should be able to have their own space, it shouldn’t matter what is on their birth certificate. People should be allowed to be who they are without being oppressed,” Kathryn Kelchner (11) said.
Others partially agree with the bill because of the fear of other genders in their bathroom. “I think only adults should be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify by, but teens and children are different,” Simone Sears (10) said. “People cannot make up their mind that early. They might decide to change back, and continue using the bathroom that no longer matches their gender. You should have to be over 18 to choose your bathroom.”
Many think that transgender people cause problems, and should just identify with their birth certificates. “What is the point of changing genders, it just causes chaos. You can change your physical appearance, but you cannot change what is one your birth certificate. If everyone just used the bathroom on their birth certificate it would cause less confusion,” Tanner Wollard (9) said.
“Legislators this year spent countless hours talking about who should use which bathroom in Texas. But they failed to pass proposals that would restrict where transgender Texans relieve themselves or change clothes, leading Governor Abbott to add the item to his special session agenda,” Dallas News said. “During the regular session, lawmakers failed to pass a slew of other bills that the LGBT community said were discriminatory.”
During the summer special session, Governor Abbott’s agenda included issues like teacher salaries, the restriction of heath care provided for abortions, voter fraud, the use of restrooms and changing rooms, and many other controversial issues.
Senate Bill 6 was an important topic of discussion to many people across the spectrum, for many different reasons and will continue to be a major issue until there is a clear decision.