Here’s what the Texas bathroom bill means in plain English


SECTION 1. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; PURPOSE. The legislature finds that:

(1) in an effort to comply with the legislature’s duty under Section 1, Article VII, Texas Constitution, to provide for the general diffusion of knowledge and an efficient system of public schools, potentially harmful and distracting environments should be barred;

(2) the federal government’s mandate requiring Texas public schools to provide students access to restrooms, showers, and dressing rooms based on an individual student’s internal sense of gender is alarming and could potentially lead to boys and girls showering together and using the same restroom should such guidance be followed;

(3) children receiving an education in Texas public schools and open-enrollment charter schools are entitled to a safe and secure learning environment, including when using intimate facilities controlled by a school; and

(4) it is the public policy of this state that residents have a reasonable expectation of privacy when using intimate facilities controlled by a school district, open-enrollment charter school, state agency, or political subdivision and that protecting the safety, welfare, and well-being of children in public schools, children in open-enrollment charter schools, and all Texas residents in intimate facilities controlled by state agencies or political subdivisions is of the utmost priority and moral obligation of this state.

This section of the bill would write into statute the reasoning Kolkhorst, the bill’s lead author, has provided to defend the legislation.

Section 2 makes reference to guidelines issued by the Obama administration in May 2016 that directed public schools to accommodate transgender students. Republicans have, in part, cited the federal guidance as a reason why the state needs a law to regulate bathroom use in public schools and other places. But those guidelines have since been rescinded by the Trump administration.

Nevertheless, Republicans have insisted that SB 6 is necessary to keep people from taking advantage of trans-inclusive policies — either at the local or federal level — for nefarious reasons. But they’ve provided virtually no evidence where that’s been the case.

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