John C Moritz
AUSTIN – About two dozen women representing business and economic development efforts across the state on Tuesday rejected the argument they and their daughters need protection from transgender people using public restrooms and locker rooms.
“I am the mother of two beautiful children (and) a CEO, and I am opposed to bathroom bills,” Casandra Matej, who heads Visit San Antonio, said at a rally outside the Texas Capitol. “These bills have nothing to do with protecting my daughter or myself. There are already laws that keep us safe.”
The rally, organized by the Texas Association of Business, was aimed at countering assertions by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst that the bathroom bill is more about protection and privacy than it is about targeting transgender people.
The legislation, Senate Bill 3, remains stalled in the Texas House after clearing the Senate largely along party lines shortly after the special legislative session began last month. It is similar to the measure that died without being considered in the House during the regular legislative session that ended in May.
Its prospects for the special session do not appear much better. House Speaker Joe Straus has been one of the bill’s most persistent critics, and the measure has not been given a hearing in committee as the special session enters its final week.
The business group has been at the center of the opposition to the legislation. In recent weeks, the group has brought law enforcement leaders to the Capitol to speak against the measure and has purchased air time on Texas radio stations urging listeners to call lawmakers about any misgivings they have about the measure.