With Democrat Roy Cooper the governor-elect in North Carolina, HB2 may be headed to the trash heap. But lawmakers in other states are hard at work turning similarly transphobic legislation into law.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has been promoting a bathroom bill for Texas, and state
Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) is all for it.
And she isn’t worried about any economic blowback, even though the NCAA moved the Final Four from Greensboro because of HB2. (the NCAA Final Four tournament is scheduled for San Antonio in 2018)
“I’d like to see Texas values not hijacked for the sake of football [or] basketball,” said Campbell, a board-certified emergency room physician.
“Are you willing to change values that have worked for us for years, sacrifice the privacy and dignity of children and adults, for the sake of a basketball game? I don’t think so.”
She added that while the state welcomes many people, “we do have to draw the line to maintain those values that not only keep Texas, but keep the United States, that beacon of hope.”
Businesses should be allowed to set their own rules for bathroom access, says Campbell, “unencumbered” by anti-discrimination laws. Of course, she added that if a restaurant wants to allow trans people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity they should “put the signage out there so it’s clear to the public.”
Addressing a school in her district in September, Campbell declared “public school bathrooms and locker rooms should be safe spaces—not social experiments that leave children vulnerable without privacy or dignity.”
And last year she authored a measure to amend the state constitution to allow discrimination against LGBT people on the basis of “religious freedom.” (Thankfully it failed.)
She’s called San Antonio’s anti-discrimination ordinance—which added sexual orientation, gender identity
and veteran status to the list of protected classes—an attempt “to criminalize faith and traditional values of the majority of Texans.”
Despite Campbell’s confidence, the HB2-like “Women’s Privacy Act” could cost Texas an estimated $8.5 billion and 185,000 jobs, according to The Texas Association of Business.
House Speaker Joe Straus says such a bill isn’t among his priorities—especially if it means losing events like the NCAA championships.