BREAKING: Texas Senate Advances Anti-LGBTQ SB3

by Nick Morrow

Discriminatory measure will soon move to the Texas House of Representatives.

Today, HRC strongly condemned some radical members of the Texas Senate for advancing the patently anti-LGBTQ SB3, introduced by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst with support from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. This egregious measure is part of a discriminatory agenda being pushed by Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott during a costly, unnecessary special legislative session.

The anti-LGBTQ SB3 mandates HB2-style anti-transgender discrimination in any multiple-occupancy restroom or locker room in any property owned by a city, county, school district, or other political subdivision. Additionally, it would overturn LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances protecting millions of people across Texas in cities including Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth insofar as those ordinances protect people from discrimination in bathrooms. It also prohibits these entities from forbidding discrimination in athletics on the basis of any characteristic not currently reflected in state law -- an obvious jab at transgender athletes.

“The Texas Senate just approved a blatantly discriminatory bill, demonstrating yet again that these lawmakers care more about pursuing cheap political points than protecting the lives of transgender Texans,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign. “It is appalling that after hearing more than 10 hours of testimony, overwhelmingly from Texans who oppose this legislation, the Texas Senate still voted to move SB3 forward. Despite this broad opposition -- including from businesses, sports leagues, parents, and faith leaders -- the Texas Senate and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appear to be fine with establishing Texas as the next North Carolina. HRC will continue to fight this harmful bill as it moves to the House.”

During the 2017 regular session, the Texas Legislature has pursued a slate of unconscionable anti-LGBTQ bills as part of a systematic effort to roll back the rights of LGBTQ Texans, piece by piece. This session, the Texas legislature introduced at least 30 anti-LGBTQ bills, and 11 passed at least one chamber. By comparison, all other states combined passed only 13 bills through at least one house during their 2017 legislative sessions.

HRC has more than a dozen staff on the ground in Austin, and, working with scores of volunteer organizers, has been leading field organizing efforts around the state to defeat these anti-LGBTQ bills. HRC continues to work alongside Equality Texas, ACLU of Texas, Texas Freedom Network, the Transgender Education Network of Texas and others to defeat dangerous or harmful bills that seek to undermine the rights and dignity of LGBTQ Texans. This coalition is committed to standing together to defeat every bill this session that discriminates against LGBTQ Texans.