After 10 hours of committee hearings and eight hours debating on the Senate floor, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick lead senators to pass the controversial “bathroom bill” in a 21-10 vote after midnight Wednesday morning.
The bill regulates bathroom use for the transgender community. The vote was along party lines, with one democrat, Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, voting in favor of the bill.
Senate Bill 3, filed by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst R-Brenham, requires that bathroom use in schools and other government buildings are to be based off the gender assigned on a birth certificate or other forum of ID. The bill would make it illegal for the transgender community to use the bathroom in which they identify with.
The policy has been a priority for Patrick, who has been very public on his views.
“This issue is so clear and simple that it defies belief,” Patrick said outside of his office in April. “Do they really want a man walking into a restroom with their daughter or mother or wife? Have we gone too far in the world of political correctness that we’ve forgotten common sense, common decency.”
The bill now goes to the House, where Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has historically voiced opposition toward the legislation.
In the final days of the regular session, Straus voiced the harmful effects the regulation would have on Texas’ economy.
“We will go no further,” Straus said in a press conference May 26. “This is the right thing to do in order to protect our economy from billions of dollars in losses and more importantly to protect the safety of some very vulnerable young Texans.”
It is unclear when the House will address this legislative policy, as they’re still discussing prospects of the “sunset legislation” bills passed by the Senate on July 19.