In a press conference yesterday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced his latest efforts to pass legislation to keep men out of women’s showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms in advance of the legislation’s first hearing in the Texas Senate.
SB 6 by State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R–Brenham) limits the use of bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms at government buildings (including public schools and universities) to biological sex. Known as the “Texas Privacy Act,” the legislation would also pre-empt local ordinances seeking to dictate policies at private businesses.
Flanked by a crowd of supporting lawmakers including North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Patrick announced that the Texas Privacy Act would pass the Texas Senate within the coming weeks.
“North Carolina was the tip of the spear,” said Patrick. “We will be next to pass a bill that focuses on a person’s privacy and public safety and will say to parents everywhere, your children will have privacy in their schools.”
Knowing the issue will be an uphill battle and that the Texas Legislature has conceded previous opportunities to lead the national conservative movement, Patrick announced he was launching an effort called “Operation 1 Million Voices” to build support for the bill among Christian churches in the state.
According to Patrick, hundreds of pastors are already involved in the project and will both testify in Austin as well as hold events across the state in order to rally support for the bill and other social conservative issues.
Patrick also unveiled the support of Democrat State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. of Brownsville who announced at the press conference that he is supporting the bill.
“Children, youth and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity and respect without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security from other students and parents,” said Lucio.
Lucio, the Texas Senate’s only remaining socially-conservative Democrat, has often taken heat from the “tolerant” members of the Democrat Party for refusing to abandon his faith for an extreme social agenda. A devout Catholic, Lucio has voted against his Democrat colleagues on legislation to protect the unborn, support traditional marriage, and even expand school choice.
SB 6 will be heard in the State Affairs Committee of the Texas Senate tomorrow where it is expected to pass quickly. Including Lucio, the legislation now has the support of 18 members of the Texas Senate, under the chamber’s rules it needs one more lawmaker in order to pass.
As noted by Patrick, conservatives across the nation are keeping close watch on the Lone Star State knowing that should Texas fail their fates are likely sealed.