Texas Republican Speaker Joe Straus, from San Antonio, made it quite clear in the 85th legislative session in Texas this past summer that he did not support any form of a “Bathroom Bill”. He stated that this was a non-issue, a solution looking for a problem and that his constituents in San Antonio had never contacted him about this being an issue.
As we prepare for the special session beginning July 18th we commend Speaker Straus for continuing to stand up to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s bullying tactics. In a previous article I wrote about how Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had threatened Speaker Straus of the Texas House saying, “If we must go to a special session, I will respectfully ask the governor to add both of these bills…plus other legislation he has voiced support for … in that special session call. If the bills don’t pass in the special and they’re blocked again, I will ask the governor to call us back again and again and again,” to which Speaker Straus replied “My experience in the House is that the House doesn’t take to threats terribly well. I’m not ready to even talk about a special session. I’m ready to talk about working on one another’s priorities, trying to come together the way the system was built to be.” Obviously Patrick, who forced a special session by not passing a “Sunset Bill” can assume all responsibility for this special session which will cost Texas taxpayers approximately $1 million dollars for the 30 day process.
In an article written by Lawrence Wright of “The New Yorker” Straus told Wright “I’m not a lawyer, but I am a Texan,” Straus said. “I’m disgusted by all this. Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.”
This is an issue that is comprised totally of discrimination as seen in passage of a recent “Religious Refusal” law SB 3859 allowing adoption agencies, child welfare service/foster care to turn away LGBTQ, Muslim, Jews and other religions, Mixed racial couples, single parents and more.
While Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick continues to push a “Bathroom Bill” SB 6 saying it is for the protection of “women and children”. This is just a lie to further his Evangelical Far Right Religious base as he continues campaigning for his 2018 reelection. There is no evidence of any transgender offenses in bathrooms and there are already regulations in place to deal with sex offenders in bathrooms in Texas. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has no concern for citizens in the transgender community in Texas.
As I volunteered with the Human Rights Campaign Austin during the last legislative session Speaker Straus made it constantly clear he was against “Bathroom Bills”. HRC Austin, Equality Texas, Texas Freedom Network and Progress Texas all fought these bills and were truly thankful for Speaker Straus constant voice of reason while Patrick continued with his “Fear Mongering” tactics and lies.
So does Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick care about transgender school children and citizens of Texas? I’ll let you answer that for yourselves.