Friday, January 6, 2017

When Trans Lives Are Under Attack...Stand Up, Fight Back

The Texas Privacy Act

About three years ago we went through a protracted battle to get our landmark non discrimination ordinance, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance or #HERO. It was billed as the NDO to protect all Houstonians... After its passage by Houston's City Council, there were petitions, lawsuits, and smear campaigns with the goal to repeal #HERO; all led by Conservatives, Clergy (Black & White), and political millionaires. They set out to attack the LGBT community and specifically targeted the Trans community without much push back or support from CisGender folks as #HERO went through the courts and a ballot measure failed to keep it on the city charter. After #HEROs failure, conservatives rejoiced and across this country state legislatures attempted to do what they could to prevent the same from happening in their states, citing "no men in womens restrooms" as the reason. Today in Texas, Senate Bill 6 was announced by Lt Gov Dan Patrick and the author, Republican Sen. Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, TX.

Here is that Announcement:

As you can see (if you watched the video) there were lies and hate spewed under the guise of love and personal appeals that they are good people. These personal appeals in attempts to come off as genuinely concerned pale in comparison to the fact that SB6 is just another Discriminatory "Bathroom Bill." It is CLEAR that conservatives like Patrick and his cronies deeply hate the Transgender community and this bill is evidence. Not only does it spread hate, it would effectively reverse ordinances already in effect in major cities like Austin or Dallas, removing racial, gender, medical, sexual orientation and gender ID protections. If the Bill passes, here are some of the impacts:

- Prohibits cities from passing any ordinance that applies to a private business’ bathroom, locker room and shower rules by providing Trans protections. In other words, laws that allow transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity would stop being enforced.

- Public schools

- State agencies

- Criminal penalties

Here is the bill: 


Right here in Houston we responded to Sen. Kolkhorst and Lt. Gov Patrick by holding a press conference at Houston city hall:

Footage from KPRC 2 Houston

Sections of SB6 to Watch

SECTION 2. Chapter 250, Local Government Code, is amended by adding Section 250.008 to read as follows:


(a) For the purposes of this section, "bathroom or changing facility" means a facility where a person may be in a state of undress, including a restroom, locker room, changing room, or shower room.

(b) A political subdivision may not adopt or enforce an order, ordinance, or other measure that relates to the designation or use of a private entity’s bathroom or changing facility or that requires or prohibits the entity from adopting a policy on the designation or use of the entity ’s bathroom or changing facility.

Sections 3 and 4 are code and general provisions...

The Penalties

SECTION 5. Subchapter D, Chapter 12, Penal Code, is amended by adding Section 12.501 to read as follows:


(a) If it is shown on the trial of an offense described by Subsection (b) that the offense was committed on the premises of a bathroom or changing facility:

(1) the punishment for an offense, other than a first degree felony, is increased to the punishment prescribed for the next higher category of offense; or

(2) if the offense is a first degree felony, the minimum term of confinement for the offense is increased to 15 years.

(b) The increase in punishment authorized by this section applies only to an offense under:

(1) Section 19.02 (murder); (2) Section 19.04 (manslaughter); (3)Section 19.05 (criminally negligent homicide); (4) Section 20.02 (unlawful restraint); (5) Section 20.03 (kidnapping); (6) Section 20.04 (aggravated kidnapping); (7) Section 21.07 (public lewdness); (8) Section 21.08 (indecent exposure);
(9) Section 21.11 (indecency with a child); (10) Section 21.12 (improper relationship between
educator and student); (11) Section 21.15(b)(1) (invasive visual recording); (12) Section 21.16, as added by Chapter 676 (H.B. 207), Acts of the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015 (voyeurism);
(13) Section 22.01 (assault); (14) Section 22.011 (sexual assault); (15) Section 22.02 (aggravated assault); (16) Section 22.021 (aggravated sexual assault); (17) Section 22.04 (injury to a child, elderly
individual, or disabled individual); (18) Section 22.041 (abandoning or endangering child); (19) Section 22.05 (deadly conduct); (20) Section 22.07 (terroristic threat); (21) Section 30.05 (criminal trespass); (22) Section 42.07 (harassment); (23) Section 43.02 (prostitution); (24) Section 43.03 (promotion of prostitution); (25) Section 43.04 (aggravated promotion of prostitution); (26) Section 43.05 (compelling prostitution); (27) Section 43.22 (obscene display or distribution); (28) Section 43.23 (obscenity); (29) Section 43.24 (sale, distribution, or display of  harmful material to minor); (30) Section 43.25 (sexual performance by a child); (31) Section 43.26 (possession or promotion of child pornography); or (32) Section 43.261 (electronic transmission of certain visual material depicting minor).

(c) For the purposes of this section, "bathroom or changing facility" means a facility where a person may be in a state of undress, including a restroom, locker room, changing room, or shower room.