Texas bathroom bill clears another hurdle after 10-hour “marathon hearing”

FILE- In this Aug. 23, 2007, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to a gender-neutral restroom at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. Nearly all of the nation's 20 largest cities, including New York City, have local or state nondiscrimination laws that allow transgender people to use whatever bathroom they identify with, though a debate has raged around the topic nationwide. Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, signed an executive order on Monday, March 7, 2016, that guarantees people access to single-sex facilities consistent with their gender identity at city facilities, including offices, pools and recreation centers, without the need to show identification or any other proof of gender. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

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On Friday, Texas senators voted 8-1 to pass a controversial bill restricting bathroom usage for transgender people.

RELATED: The Texas Bathroom Bill Just Won’t Die, and it Could Affect the 2018 Primary.

For 10 hours before the vote, people offered emotionally charged testimony, largely opposed to the bill. Transgender people, their friends, families and allies took the floor to plead with Texas legislators not to pass this bill.

The bill, called Senate Bill Three, was passed by the Senate State Affairs Committee, and restricts bathroom usage for transgender people in public schools and government buildings. SB Three also aims to restrict some aspects of public bathroom use for transgender people, as other bills before it have that ended up foundering in the House. SB Three is expected to be speedily approved by the full Senate, and sent to the House for approval this week.

The bill’s author Sen. Lois Kolkhorst said the bill was meant to be a middle ground “between the right to declare your gender and the right of a parent to protect your child.” She referred to the now-rescinded guidelines from the Obama administration, protecting transgender use of whichever public bathroom they chose, as the government dictating state law.

As often happens with issues of this nature, supporters of this bill say trans-inclusive policies for bathrooms will make it easier for sexual predators to target children. Opponents questioned this at Friday’s hearing, citing an almost complete lack of evidence.

RELATED: Some Texas Republicans Say They Don’t Want to Vote on the Bathroom Bill, But Might Have to Anyway.

What do you think?

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