The Texas bathroom bill is a bill developed with the aim of restriction of access to bathrooms for different people in the society. It is a bill that limits the use of bathrooms based on the gender listed on the birth certificate or ID. This is a bill that defined access to restrooms for transgender individuals. It is a bill that specifies the use of restrooms for either male or female. However, transgender individuals are people whose gender identification has been changed, and this brought about a lot of issues because there lacks a specific restroom for them. Transgender people often use restrooms that they currently identify with after a sex change. However, the bathroom bills specify that they use restrooms based on the gender listed on their birth certificates. An example is whereby an individual was born as a boy, and the birth certificate confirms sex as a male, however, after a sex change, he will become a female. The problem is that because of the bathroom bill she will not be able to access the restroom for ladies because her birth certificate indicates that she is a boy despite the sex change. The bathroom bill has created a lot of controversies in Texas. This is because of the high level of opposition to the bill by gay movements, corporate societies, and many lawmakers. The bill is said to cause a lot of segregation in the use of public facilities. This segregation is a factor that may lead to bullying, oppression, and discrimination of transgender individuals. This paper will, therefore, explore the Texas bathroom bill as an unsustainable factor that would cause more harm than good to the society.
The developments of the Bill
The Texas bathroom bill was championed by Governor Dan Patrick. The bill itself was filed in the first special session and the regular legislative session all of which apart from the Texas legislature in the year 2017. They were passed in both sessions by a vote of 21- 10. The passing was mostly along party lines. Most of the senators in favor of the bill were Republicans were conservatives of the religious and social values of the American society. There was only one Democrat in favor of the bill and was Senator Lucio. However, both session never reached the House floor, and this meant that they did not get the chance to a vote. It was received by a lot of criticism and opposition (Dart, 2017). The House’s Speaker Joe Straus highly opposed the bill stating that it would cause great economic implications in Texas. He also highlighted the mental and psychological implications the bill would have on transgender individuals in the state and warned the Governor that he did not wish for any suicides in the state because of such an unsustainable bill. It was a bill championed by religious conservatives, and the failure of the bill to receive a vote was a great embarrassment to them and the politicians championing it. However, the issue is not through because the following year the process will continue and this time it will happen with a lot more anger and zeal to pass the bill. The Republicans are moving to restructuring their leadership in the line of developing a more energized approach The Governor could soon call for another special paper, and the bill will be back (Montgomery, 2017).
The bathroom bill developed after a landmark case that took place in 2013. This case was associated with the restriction of a transgender student of six years of age by the name of Coy Mathis. She was restricted from accessing the girl’s bathroom at her school because she was born a boy and now transitioned to a girl. This was the first high profile transgender cases associated with their rights in the United States. The case received a lot of media attention which brought into the limelight, the issue of the human’s rights for transgender people. This was a new gender identity that had not been given any attention by the government and the society. However, they remain members of the society that deserve equal rights (Dart, 2017).
The government responded in 2016 through the development of Title IX that provided for the protection of transgender individuals. There have been the different ruling of the case in courts. A case in 2016 involved a transgender male by the name of Gavin Grimm. He was restricted from using the boy’s restroom at his school. The court had accepted this use, but in August 2016, the decision stayed. There is a lot of disunion in the United States regarding the issue of transgender. Fifty-one percent of the country is in favor of transgender people using restrooms that identify with their current gender, while forty-six percent of the nation opposes this and favor their use of restrooms that they were borne into. Recent polls showed that more than forty percent of the American population is in favor of the development of a law that would restrict transgender individuals to use restrooms that identify with the genders they were born in., while forty percent oppose such laws (Giorgi, 2017).
The bathroom bill is unsustainable
The bathroom bill in Texas would restrict the use of restrooms in schools and government buildings. This means that the bill will force transgender to use washrooms whose gender they do not identify with. A girl who has transitioned into a boy can no longer use a girl’s restroom because it cannot satisfy his need as a boy after the transition. The same goes for boys transitioned into girls. Proponents of the bill argue that the bill is meant to enhance safety and privacy in schools. They say that lack of restrictions can cause risks to safety for both girls and boys in schools. On the other hand opponents of the law argue that the bill creates a great risk to the safety of transgender individuals (Signorile, 2017).
There is a great risk of bullying and violence against them. They are different individuals after the transition and being forced to use a washroom with a gender they do not identify is prone to cause a lot of segregation and discrimination. There will be a rise in profiling, transgender people and they could easily be targeted and bullied. The bill has a high risk of causing psychological problems with transgender people. These are people with great problems with sexual identity. The transition is usually a tough process. It takes a lot of time before an individual can fully develop psychologically. Transgender people like other members of the LGBT community suffer from discrimination because people consider them second-class citizens. The bill is, therefore, going to increase psychological issue for the transgender individuals which will cause more harm than good (Montgomery, 2017).
The great position by the state of Texas is based on the economic implications the bill would have. The bill was highly criticized by the gay community. It was then followed by corporate America that consist of major corporations that are important for the Texas economy. These corporations threatened to bail out their financial support for the Texas government, and this means that the state would receive great losses. Another implication is the high divisions between social conservatives and moderate Republicans (Dart, 2017).
It is a bill that would cause a lot of division. The Texas government also feared the rise of protests and economic boycotts. These protests and boycotts would seriously damage the economy of the state. The bill explores human rights issue associated with the right of accessing restroom based on the gender one currently identifies. The proponents of the bill wanted to isolate the transgender people from the LGBT, but the society disagreed with it because of the risks the bill would have. Conservative fear of the safety for their children because of access to restrooms for people borne of a different sex (Signorile, 2017).
They believe that despite the sex change and transition, the transgender individual poses great risks to children. Currently, the issues of the bill have been felt. The oil prices have gone down because of the protests and boycotts. Oil from Texas is dropping in value, and this is translating to losses for the Texas government. There is also a high risk of cancellations of athletic events, and concerts because of the issue and Texas being one of the most populous states will suffer greatly (Montgomery, 2017).
Risks to transgender individuals
The bill places transgender people in a lot of danger. They are highly marginalized people because of their differences. They are easily targeted and are very prone to bullying, violence and hate crimes. Critics argue that transgender are more prone to gender as a result of the bill as compared to cisgenders for whom the bill is trying to protect. There has been a rise in crimes that take place in restrooms. Research shows that since the development of the legislation, there has been a rise in stigmatization and violence against transgender people. The bill denies transgender people the right to choose the restroom they identify with, and this is a factor that places them at a very low place in the society (Giorgi, 2017).
There has also been no case identified where a transgender person was found attacking or assaulting a cisgender person. There is a high rate of transgender people being assaulted in restrooms because of their gender identity. Most of which occurs verbally and some occur through physical means. The bill has therefore created a very sensitive matter in the American society which has divided the nation. Transgender people are much marginalized, and this cases great risks to their wellbeing. They are denied equal rights to choose the restrooms they wish to use. The bill is very discriminative because it segregates people based on their gender identity making transgender people highly susceptible to violence and oppression (Dart, 2017).
The Texas bill issue became a great victory for its opponents after it failed to reach the House to receive a vote. This came after high pressure from the LGBT community and businesses in Texas. Many find the bill as a rise in ugliness and hate in the politics of the state. The loss for the bill was a great embarrassment for transphobic and homophobic people in the state and the rest of the nation. It was also a great setback for religious conservatives who championed the bill based on religious perspectives. Opponents were fighting for equal rights for the LGBT community for which the transgender people are part of. The support is also growing at very fast rate especially after the issue of the bill in Texas and several other states such as North Carolina. The bill offered a great opportunity for the LGBT community because it showed how the society was in support of their rights and equality as Americans (Dart, 2017).
However, the fight is not over because the far right extremists, social and religious conservatives are taking the time after the collapse of the bill to consolidate their power, and efforts and establish a different approach to pass the bill into law. The bill also brought forward anti LGBT politicians who voiced their opinions and stands towards the issue. The bigger picture is that more LGBT people are suffering from hate crimes and violence. 2017 saw many people of the LGBT people killed and is a clear indication of the rise of hate towards other members of the society. Despite the great support from corporate society and other members of the LGBT community transgender issues will continue because social and religious conservatives are obsessed with the issue. However, the transgender individual remains important and equal members of the society who have equal rights life, cisgender individuals. The bill is, therefore, unreasonable and highly unsustainable (Montgomery, 2017).
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