Transgender Texans are having their public rights sent back to the Stone Age after the Senate State Affair Committee voted to approve Senate Bill 3.
The bill, like many other proposed ones of its kind, forces transgender individuals to use the public restrooms that correspond with their assigned gender at birth. The bill goes to prevent public facilities like schools and government offices from enforcing rules that contradict the law.
More than 250 LGBTQ business owners, activists, school administrators, and teachers signed up to testify against the bill, quoting the heart-rending suicide rates in the trans community and how a public lashing out like this could increase them. "I'm hearing that it's somehow our fault that people are committing suicide," said Republican Senator Craig Estes, according to Pink News. "Another explanation cold be that people are depressed."
Though the bill passed in favor 8-1, Kali Cohn, a staff attorney for the ACLU's Texas branch, said the legislation was in violation of the constitution. "They've introduced legislation that targets transgender Texans under the guise of privacy and safety," she said, "That's not what those bills do - what they in fact do is push transgender people away from being able to participate in public life."