HRC Blog

Troubling Situation in Houston

A transgender woman, Tyjanae Moore, was arrested and throw into jail for using the women’s restroom at a Houston public library, according to a local TV station.

"I felt so belittled going to a jail over something so simple and stupid,” Moore said. The Houston Area Pastor Council is claiming state law requires that Moore use the men’s restroom until she has final surgery. Until then, they say, she must use her birth gender restroom. But the city of Houston has a non-discrimination policy that transgender people can use the restroom of their choice, according to the executive order issued by Houston Mayor Annise Parker earlier this year.

The Houston-based Transgender Foundation of America referenced the order in their statement yesterday: City of Houston Executive Order 1 – 8 and 1 – 20 ensures that all individuals regardless of race, gender identity, nationality or sexuality can have equal access to City restroom facilities. “The arrest should have never happened.” said Cristan Williams, Executive Director of the Transgender Foundation of America. “The City of Houston has given this victim explicit permission to use a restroom consistent with their gender.  This means that the library patron was acting in a manner consistent with both state and local law. Since she broke no law, this is a case of unlawful arrest and imprisonment. The head of the Houston Area Pastor Council, David Welch, has a long Republican political pedigree, according to his bio. More on Welch’s extremist beliefs can be found here.

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