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Editorial: SB6 does more harm than good

By Luke Cosenza

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On Wednesday, March 15th, the Texas Senate approved SB6, also known as The Bathroom Bill, which will ban transgender people from using restrooms and locker rooms in public schools and universities, and government owned facilities that correlate with their gender identity.

I find it disheartening to know that which restroom a student uses seems to be the biggest concern among elected officials in Texas.

Senator Lois Kolkhorst is the primary sponsor of this bill, claiming that the intent of this legislation is “about privacy and protection of all people”. She and many other Republican representatives argue that this bill is not an attack on transgender people, but an act of deterrence against predators who may use, as Kolkhorst puts it, “a vague idea of gender identification to go into a private and intimate space” and create problems or cause harm to others.

More often than not, when you hear about assault that occurs in a public restroom, the story line tends to go like this: a man sneaks into the women’s restroom, gets caught, then ends up on the news, spreading local or nationwide panic among women and girls.

While sexual predation is a very serious issue, transgender people should not be penalized for actions they are not responsible for. There are some predatory people who take advantage of the few rights transgender people have in order execute their own selfish acts, such as falsely claiming to be transgender, however creating a bill such as this one only places more of a negative stigma on the transgender community and is the reason why there is so much fear towards transgender people.

The point of this bill is to prevent men from entering women’s restrooms, but what many supporters of the bill don’t realize is that even with the bill in place, men will still be using the women’s restroom.

Since individuals must use facilities that correspond with gender on their birth certificate, that means transgender men will be required to use the women’s restrooms. Despite being born female, many of these individuals are visibly very masculine looking, some even sporting beards. This also places transgender women at risk of assault because they will be forced into men’s restrooms, even though they present themselves as female.

How Texas lawmakers plan to regulate bathroom usage among civilians has never been questioned, but there doesn’t seem to be a logical solution to that. There are thousands transgender people in the state of Texas, many of which you would not know they were born the opposite gender just from first glance, so there would be no way to tell them what bathroom they should be using. Unless every citizen in the state was required to carry their birth certificate, or any other form of identification, around at all times in the event that they need to use a public restroom, the state cannot tell who is transgender and who is not. Besides, many transgender people get their gender marker legally changed on all legal documents, including their birth certificate, so carrying them around would be just as pointless. The transgender community is not a recent discovery – meaning that people have been transitioning and using whatever bathroom they want for decades – but suddenly it is the biggest issue among most southern states.

The debate over SB6 resulted in 21-10 vote and will now move forward to the Texas House of Representatives for further review.

 

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McKinney Boyd High School's Student Publication
Editorial: SB6 does more harm than good