Patrick plunges ahead with his potty bill

Brace yourselves.

After months of sparring over whether transgender Texans should be allowed to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday officially set the legislative stage for the debate.

Following North Carolina’s lead, Texas Republicans announced Senate Bill 6, which would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on “biological sex” and would pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

“We know it’s going to be a tough fight,” Patrick said at a Capitol news conference announcing the bill. “But we know we’re on the right side of the issue. We’re on the right side of history. You can mark today as the day Texas is drawing a line in the sand and saying no.”

Patrick said his support for the legislation is based on privacy concerns, arguing that such policies allow men to enter women’s restrooms and locker rooms.

Republican state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, who will guide the bill through the upper chamber, said SB 6 would still allow for schools to accommodate transgender students on a case-by-case basis. But public entities that violate bathroom policies based on “biological sex” will be subject to a civil penalty imposed by the state attorney general.

It also appears to essentially exempt convention centers, stadiums and entertainment venues. The legislation would not apply if “if the location owned by a government entity is privately leased to an outside entity,” which is often the case for those sort of venues, Kolkorst said.

The exemption for “convention centers, stadiums and entertainment venues”, which was telegraphed a month ago, appears to be a sop to the business community, to try to buy their acquiescence. We’ll just have to see if it works. The direct attack on municipal anti-discrimination laws is not unexpected, but hasn’t been a focal point of the conversation before now. There will be much more to say about this as we go on, and believe me when I say I hope this all turns out to have been a tempest in a training potty, but for now I think the Lone Star Project has the best response:

“Any statement by Dan Patrick on the health and safety of Texas children should start with an apology for those he has let die on his watch.

“Since Patrick took office, nearly 800 Texas kids have died due to abuse or neglect while in the care of Child Protective Services. Patrick has served in five legislative sessions and has done nothing to help these Texas kids. Patrick’s top ten list of priorities specifically excludes fixing the failed Child Protective Services system.

“Dan Patrick’s only real priority is his political career. There’s no Texan he won’t exploit or neglect to advance himself.”

That’s what I’m talking about. I’ve expressed my concerns about the business community going weak if thrown a bone or two, so this response from the Texas Association of Business is encouraging.

Keep Texas Open for Business strongly opposed Senate Bill 6, calling out the just-filed “Texas Privacy Act,” as discriminatory, anti-business, and unnecessary legislation that is poised to have an immediate and detrimental impact on Texas’ economy. The bill is strikingly similar to North Carolina’s HB 2 law. Both pieces of legislation ban transgender people from using public school, university, and government building restrooms, and prohibit municipalities from passing transgender-inclusive public accommodations policies. The North Carolina law has cost the state nearly one billion dollars in lost economic revenue in just under 10 months.

“All Texans care deeply about safety and privacy, but Senate Bill 6 isn’t about either of those things,” said Chris Wallace, President of the Texas Association of Business (TAB), which leads the Keep Texas Open for Business coalition. “Senate Bill 6 is discriminatory and wholly unnecessary legislation that, if passed, could cost Texas as much as $8.5 billion in GDP and the loss of more than 185,000 jobs in the first year alone.”

“Our communities, our families and businesses across this state face a far more uncertain future if this kind of unnecessary regulation is enacted here. We cannot afford the real human consequences and staggering economic impact of slamming the door on the Texas’ history of openness, competitiveness, economic opportunity and innovation,” added Wallace.

Supporters of SB 6 claim its “unique to Texas”, but the legislation is fundamentally identical to the bathroom and municipal non-discrimination provisions in North Carolina’s HB 2. That law has resulted in companies like PayPal, Deutsche Bank and CoStar pulling jobs and planned investments from the state. Performers and sporting events also have fled North Carolina in the wake of HB 2 – with the NBA, NCAA, and ACC all pulling major championship events that were poised to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars to local economies.

“The so-called Texas Privacy Act won’t make restrooms any safer for men, women and children, and it will do far more harm to them than good. This legislation will needlessly jeopardize jobs, investment, innovation and tax revenue for our state, and it sullies our reputation as an open, inclusive and welcoming state. It is also wholly unenforceable and unsupported by any public safety evidence, and will create situations that invade the privacy of Texans from all walks of life.”

Wallace said that Keep Texas Open for Business and Texas Association of Business would welcome the opportunity to discuss meaningful ways the business community could work with state leaders to address serious, well-documented personal and public safety concerns like online predators, online privacy, and campus safety, while ensuring Texas does not enact discriminatory legislation that will spark statewide boycotts.

Now we need to convince these guys that they need to actually oppose the elections of legislators (and Lite Guvs) that support SB6, because as long as there are no consequences for these actions, there will be no changes in behavior. This is a good start, though.

Equality Texas is going to be at the forefront of this fight, so if you’re looking for a place to direct your activism efforts or dollars, go give them a hand – two immediate opportunities to Do Something are here and here. Texas Competes will also be in the mix on the business side. Patrick is way more out in front of this than either Joe Straus or Greg Abbott, and whatever happens I feel like we’re going to see this play out in next year’s Republican primaries. But let’s not get distracted – first this needs to be killed with fire. Do not sit idly by. Get involved and make your voice heard. Texas Monthly, the Chron, the Current, the Observer, the Austin Chronicle, Texas Leftist, and the DMN have more.

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19 Responses to Patrick plunges ahead with his potty bill

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Dan thinks he can thread the needle by carving out a loophole for sporting venues, in a blatant attempt to not lose sporting and convention business from out of state. That won’t work, because the kinds of groups that would pull their business wouldn’t be pulling that business because they really thought a significant number of their attendees would be put in harms way, they would do it for optics, because they want to appear politically correct.

    Once again, Dan, just let it go. Want to help Texas? Figure out how to lower property taxes.

  2. Paul A Kubosh says:

    I haven’t read the bill. For me the problem with the bathroom issue is not the truly transgender people using the bathroom. The problem is with the male prostitutes on lower westheimer who dress up like women legally using the restroom next to my daughters. As long as the progressives continue to call me racist, bigoted, and deplorable because I don’t want those guys in the restroom with my daughters I am just more convinced I am right.

    Saying Dan Patrick killed baby’s is a statement right out of the pages of the pro-life people saying you killed babies by being pro-choice.

    Make no mistake there is a New Moral Majority in America.

  3. Bill Daniels says:


    The whole point of the HERO and now this proposed bill is to take away more rights from the business owner and force social policy on them. If you are frequenting businesses that allow crossdressers into bathrooms and locker rooms they clearly aren’t to be in, maybe you should vote with your feet and go somewhere else. Lower Westheimer has always been a hotspot for weirdos, and if commingling with weirdos isn’t your thing, don’t take your wife and daughter down there.

    The business owners should be the ones dictating what goes on, on their property, and this laissez-faire policy seems to be working OK currently. Why fix what ain’t broke?

  4. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Paul, I agree with you, in fact Dan has a win win situation. The harder the homosexual community fights this the further they drive away persons who normally don’t give a hoot what they do. Having men in women’s bathrooms and showers is a losing deal for the homosexual community.

    Houston elected Annise Parker three times as Mayor, three times as comptroller, and three times as council person. People of Houston are not against homosexuals, but they are against men in women’s bathrooms. Houston is a liberal city, so how do you think that fight to put men in women’s showers and bathrooms will fly in other parts of Texas.

  5. Bill Daniels says:


    Do you really think the homosexual lobby will see this law and say, well gee, they carved out exceptions for public venues holding private events, so we won’t be offended at this and push for retribution? Even you agree this is a losing deal for the gays, and yet….they don’t care. They went all in on it in North Carolina and won. You don’t think they will go all in here as well?

    I think, fresh off their N. Carolina win, they will attack any state, with a vengeance, that does anything, however reasonable it may seem to you, to slow their agenda. You perfectly understand exactly how the SJW crowd operates. Deviate from the program just a little bit on any one part of the agenda, and you are a racist, bigot, homophobe, misogynist, Putin supporter…..basically the worst person in the world. Maybe you think reasonable people can agree to disagree on this. That isn’t how things work anymore, although I am thinking the Trump presidency can change that. His election already proved that shouting all those accusatory insults no longer carry the power to shut down disagreement.

    If you think Dan’s bill, with it’s exemptions, is a win in any way, for anyone, you just went against the agenda, so prepare to be thrown under the bus.

  6. Bill Daniels says:


    Kuff, you really need to add an edit feature here. I think most of your readers might actually agree with that one. 😉

  7. Jen says:

    These comments are a whole lot of BS.
    No businesses allow prostitutes to use their bathrooms.
    Bathrooms in these businesses are usually single rooms with a lock, so no one will ever encounter another person in the bathroom.
    No woman has ever been bothered by a trans woman in a bathroom. That is a crime. All you haters would be bringing it up every time if there was such an event. There isn’t.

    And finally– there are no prostitutes on Lower Westheimer.

    Time to focus on REAL ISSUES. Like all the dead kids CPS that was supposed to protect. And this-from–

    “State-level estimates for post-ACA effects of opting out of Medicaid expansion are displayed in Exhibit 3. In Texas, the largest state opting out of Medicaid expansion, 2,013,025 people who would otherwise have been insured will remain uninsured due to the opt-out decision. We estimate that Medicaid expansion in that state would have resulted in 184,192 fewer depression diagnoses, 62,610 fewer individuals suffering catastrophic medical expenditures, and between 1,840 and 3,035 fewer deaths.”

    Note this is for one year. So Perry, Abbot and cronies have killed about 7500 Texans so far. Not counting the kids.

  8. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Miss-information number one:

    No business allows prostitutes in the bathroom, that is not a true statement and anyone with any sense would recognize it as misinformation. Do you know of any business that tells women that they can’t use the bathrooms because they are prostitutes?

    Miss-information number two:

    When the facts are against one, change the facts, “No trans woman has bothered another woman”, that may or may not be a true statement but that is not what the bathroom bill is aimed at. Certainly, Jen you are not suggesting that no woman has never been assaulted by a man masquerading as a trans-gender? If you are I can prove you wrong.

    Miss-information number three:

    All bathroom are single stalls and can be locked. That is a false statement, and can easily be proven wrong. Any restaurant or eating establishment will normally have more than one bathroom. In fact, I don’t recall that I have eaten anywhere where his and her rest rooms did not exist.

    Miss-information number four: Maybe be just an oversight, but I have seen it happen too often, to consider it as such.

    The bill also address showers, which you conveniently left out.

    One true statement:

    At least for myself, I do hate that a man (because he or she if you prefer thinks he is a woman) could share a shower or bathroom with my granddaughter, niece, wife, so that would be make be a hater of people who force their views on what many would consider abnormal behavior on me or my family. So technically I would be a hater in your reality.

    Second true statement:

    There are many more important issues, I agree.

    So how are you going to get people like me to vote for a person whose main goal is to pass laws that force a girl to share showers with boys?

  9. Jen says:

    Your ‘miss-statements’ are not accurate reflections of what I wrote, except for #1 perhaps. In my experience, businesses where there are prostitutes have a sign that says ‘no public restroom’.

    I wrote that no trans woman has ever bothered another woman *in a bathroom*. The point is, the law does not address any real problem. Ditto with locker rooms.

    Your have completely missed the point of #3. I said “usually a single room with a lock”. Meaning each type, meaning usually.

    I should not have said haters, that was a mistake. I couldn’t edit the post.

    Let me repeat, there is not any discernible problem with trans women in women’s spaces. We would know by now if there was. There is no need for this law, and it is going to hurt business, and public entities that don’t explicitly discriminate against trans people will be fined.

    The point of my post is that Dan Patrick is mischaracterizing trans people for political gain, claiming some sort of possible threat, while he is allowing thousands and thousands of real people in Texas to go broke and die bad deaths by not pushing for Medicaid expansion and CPS reform. That is what people should be outraged about.

  10. Neither Here Nor There says:

    All I said that is not a major issue that needs to become the rally cry, it is not a winnable battle for the homosexual community here in Texas on this day and time.

    I don’t think Patrick’s bill will get to the Governor to sign, so it is not something that should be of concern. But why give it more publicity than it needs?

    Expect the attempts to get rid of the acceptance of marriages between same sex persons to be the real battle.

  11. General Grant says:

    Why are your daughters hanging out in the public restrooms of red light establishments?

    And if they are being harassed in a restroom, by anyone, you should report that. It is illegal.

    The line in the sand is literally right out of George Wallace rhetoric.

  12. Neither Here Nor There says:

    General there are no red light districts in Houston, but there are places where prostitutes solicit clients. They tend to use the restrooms of local establishments, Burger King, McDonalds, places that have public restrooms, when nature calls.

    Fight what ever battles you want but the bathroom is a losing battle.

    That is a battle they want to fight now, why give them the pleasure of fighting and losing. If there are other parts of the bill that are worse, fight those. Most of H.E.R.O. was fine they picked the part that was the easiest, so the entire ordinance went down.

  13. General Grant says:

    I’m not the one picking the battle. It is Lt. Gov. Patrick and Sen.Kolkhorst.

    Since there are zero reported instances of this sort of restroom harassment, and thus no active problem in needing of a solution, forgive me for thinking that this is a publicity stunt consisting of beating up on a marginalized population for no reason other than short term political gain. That is not okay, and it is not conservative.

    Show me an actual problem, and I’ll seriously consider your solution.

  14. TheMoralMinority says:

    @Paul Kubosh

    Your own brother got up before a group of bigots at Dr. Young’s “Church” and said. and I quote: “God put me on earth to vote against HERO”, then had the nerve to tell me and other members of the GLBT community, to our face, that he sat on the sidelines during the debate.

    Perhaps if your brother lived in Houston city limits and spent time here other than for the purpose of campaigning, both you and he would better understand our city’s diversity.

    Oh, and “Make no mistake there is a New Moral Majority in America”, the “Moral Majority” never had any morals, they just want to cram their book of fairy tales down the throats of easily brainwashed people.

  15. Bayard Rustin says:


  16. Neither Here Nor There says:


    Do what you want, they want you to react. Texas is not North Carolina, the business community will not do to Texas what they did to North Carolina. While I write other states are doing the same thing as Texas is proposing.

    In 2018 the campaigns will not be about education, wages, better jobs, or just jobs, it will be about men in women’s bathroom, and abortion. If the Democrats get real lucky the economy will be in serious problems and we will be in a major war, then they may win in Harris County and stand a chance state wide.

    I would really suggest that some of you read about wars and what battles one commits their resources on and which ones they avoid. Campaigns are not much different.

    “Our fate in Vietnam was epitomized during negotiations a week before the fall of Saigon, when an American general told his counterpart: “You know you never beat us on the battlefield.” “That may be so,” the Vietnamese replied, “but it is also irrelevant.”

    If nothing else let the business community do the fighting for the rights of trans-gender persons. All that economic loss here in Houston never materialized.

  17. Pingback: This fight feels different – Off the Kuff

  18. paul a kubosh says:


    “book of fairy tales”

    Point proved. Just another complainer hiding behind a fake name leading the “new moral majority” Also except for the sports boycotts no noticeable effects of business downturn in North Carolina.

  19. TheMoralMinority says:

    @Paul Kubosh, I’m not hiding behind anything. In fact, I’ll be more than happy to meet you and discuss these issues at any time.

    What are Mr. Patrick/Goeb’s actual priorities? What are his answers regarding the crumbling infrastructure, below third world healthcare system, and atrocious education system in our “great” state? The man doesn’t care about this state or it’s people. Just another “small government” fool who wishes to expand his archaic beliefs to the majority.

    And where do you stand on rights for the GLBT community, as an individual? Just out of interest?

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