The Texas Senate voted to say no to boys entering the girls’ bathrooms, showers and changing rooms in schools across the state. The 21 to 10 vote came down along party lines, as expected.
The vote followed eight hours of debate where Democrats attempted to derail passage with amendments and parliamentary procedures. In the end, the senators voted, just as they did in the regular session, to send the bill to the House where passage is considered to be anything but certain.
Senate Bill 3, the new version of Senate Bill 6 from the regular session, varies slightly from its predecessor. Gone are provisions to regulate bathroom use in state buildings and public universities. Civil penalties for entities violating the bathroom restrictions are also not in the new bill, the Texas Tribune reported.
The bill’s author, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) called the bill “a solution for Texas.” The legislation became necessary, in the opinion of Republican legislators and party activists after liberal mayors across the state in cities like San Antonio and Houston began passing bathroom ordinances allowing people who “identify” as women on a particular day to use the facilities of their choice. It also followed President Barack Obama’s overreaching interpretation of Title IX that threatened to withhold federal funds from schools that refused to allow bathroom choice.
Democrats, as expected, strongly objected to the bill. “The bill you filed affirmatively allows discrimination. It says you can’t protect from discrimination,” State Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin) claimed while chastising Sen. Kolkhorst.
“Senator Kolkhorst said it best: ‘daughters over dollars,’” Jonathan Saenz with Texas Values said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Thanks to the hard work of Senator Kolkhorst and a bipartisan group of Senators, the Senate has given a voice to Texas women and girls. It’s now the Texas House’s turn to finally protect privacy and eliminate the patchwork of confusing school district and local government policies for showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms.”
The bill limits the use of bathrooms in schools and buildings overseen by local governments, including cities and counties, to the genders identified on a person’s official identification documents. Those documents include a birth certificate or another ID issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The state issued ID option came in one Republican amendment to the bill. It allows for the use of a DPS issued Driver License, Handgun License to Carry, or Identification Card. It excludes school issued ID cards.
Kolkhorst said her bill will “hit the reset button and provide the privacy and safety that Texans deserve.
Most of the floor debate echoed the debate held earlier this year when Senate Bill 6 passed the Senate and went on to die in the House.
Tuesday afternoon’s vote came down exactly the same as it’s vote in March — 21 to 10.
A final vote is expected on Wednesday before the bill moves on to the Texas House.