DALLAS - Earlier this month Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session of the Texas Legislature starting July 18. Among the 19 agenda items is the state’s proposed “bathroom bill.”
On Wednesday, several moms of transgender children in North Texas took a stand against the controversial bill ahead of the special session at a panel discussion hosted by Equality Texas and the Human Rights Campaign.
If passed, the bill would determine which bathrooms transgender Texans can use.
Amber Briggle – a mother of two, including her 9-year-old transgender son, Max – said the law cannot pass. Last year, she invited Attorney General Ken Paxton over for dinner to discuss the issue.
“It really offends me when someone is trying to turn my son into political pawn in a pissing contest,” she said. “Literally, no one cares what’s in my son’s pants except the people in Austin.”
Back in May, the Texas House passed a bill that would prevent K-12 transgender students from using the bathroom that matches the gender they identify with. It’s a policy Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick favors.
“Let’s just get down to the bottom line. Men don’t belong in the ladies room,” he said earlier this month. “And, boys and girls shouldn’t be showering together in the tenth grade. And everyone in Texas knows that.”
Critics of the bill say it unfairly targets transgender people already singled out.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 21 transgender people were murdered in 2016. Almost all were women of color. There’s been 13 murders of trans women this year, according to GLADD.
“Every parent’s biggest fear is your child being murdered for living an authentic life. There is no reason that should happen. Our legislatures attempting to pass discriminatory legislation, which will only increase the number of victims in the trans community is unacceptable,” said Rachel Gonzales, a mother of two including her 7-year-old transgender daughter, Libby. “It’s completely absurd to suggest that my daughter go to the boys’ restroom.”
The bathroom bill isn’t law yet. Because the House and Senate have passed very different versions, it’s headed to the special legislative session next month.
“They had 140 days to get their act together,” said Briggle. “Now we’re going into a special session, so they can tell my son where he can and cannot pee? It just blows my mind.”
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