Patrick Is a National Anti-LGBT Activist
In an affront the the legacy of the great American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., Texas Republican Lt. Governor Dan Patrick Thursday afternoon, mentioning and loosely quoting Dr. King, unveiled a North Carolina styled bill that would ban transgender people from using public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. The offensive irony did not go unnoticed.
Patrick's wide-reaching bill applies to all public accommodation areas in all Texas government buildings, including public education campuses, from elementary schools to colleges and universities. It also would affect transgender people traveling in and out of publicly owned airports, like Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, town and city halls across the state, judicial buildings, and other Texas government buildings.
Like North Carolina's HB2, The Texas “Privacy Protection Act,” also known as SB6, strips the right of local towns, cities, and other municipalities from enacting or retaining their own LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances.
"We know we’re on the right side of the issue," Lt. Governor Patrick told reporters at a press event held in the Texas Capitol. We’re on the right side of history. You can mark today as the day Texas is drawing a line in the sand and saying no.”
Lt. Gov. Patrick noted he has been working with one of Texas' most anti-LGBT organizations, Texas Values, and mentioned them by name. The group posted tweets during the event:
The bill's sponsor, Texas Republican State Senator Lois Kolkhorst provided details of the bill, as protestors' booing grew louder, causing her to momentarily pause before ignoring them.
Asked if the state would be hiring "bathroom police," Sen. Kolkhorst said "no," but added that the legislation "allows an individual who feels uncomfortable to report that." In a disturbing statement, Kolkhorst also said, "the responsibility falls on all of us to protect citizens and ensure that their personal and private rights are secured," suggesting, if not advocating for, "concerned" citizens to take matters into their own hands.
"After our success in stopping President Obama’s bathroom rules in court, states are now free to enact legislation of their choosing to protect privacy," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement adding his support for the discriminatory legislation. "Texans should feel safe and secure when they enter any intimate facility, so I applaud the work of Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Senator Kolkhorst for fighting to protect women and children from those who might use access to such facilities for nefarious purposes."
The ACLU opposes the bill and posted a response: