Two Views: Bathroom bill is about women’s rights

In May, President Obama issued an edict that all schoolchildren could declare their own gender and use the restroom and shower of their choice.

Thankfully, the newly appointed attorney general has rescinded that order, saying it was done “without due regard for the primary role of the states.”

I agree, which is why I’ve been joined by over a dozen of my fellow state senators in authoring the Texas Privacy Act, Senate Bill 6.

The bill codifies what most Texans already expect. The act designates separate showers, locker rooms and restrooms for males and females in public schools, colleges, universities and government facilities.

When we talk about a child declaring their own gender, we are talking about allowing male students to enter the female restroom and locker room. Unless we define boundaries, young men who are “curious” or hold more nefarious goals will be free to experiment, while girls and parents are left legally powerless. Schools will face lawsuits, pitting parents against school boards, as we have seen in Fort Worth, Dripping Springs and Pearland.

Texas must set a sensible, nondiscriminatory gender policy — or someone else will do it for us.

We must put safety and dignity ahead of social engineering that is disguised as civil rights. The Texas Privacy Act is inclusive, allowing personal accommodations for special circumstances while also respecting those who do not consent to a male entering a female restroom.

Let’s remember that parental rights and women’s rights are indeed human rights.

Victims of sexual abuse often say that predators will seek any opportunity. The media has painstakingly ignored this point, instead framing the issue in every other context imaginable.

Some have made predictions that our economy may suffer if our state passes SB 6. The opposite is true. SB 6 allows private businesses to make their own decisions while providing clear direction to public schools and government buildings, which will bolster our economy.

A superb example is Houston, where voters supported a pro-privacy policy, then went on to successfully host the NCAA Final Four and the Super Bowl. Or look at North Carolina, which posted a $425 million budget surplus and announced 5,000 new jobs after addressing the issue.

Much has been made of the claim that our state may lose an entertainment or sporting event if SB 6 is passed. By this logic, where exactly does the boycott threat end? Do sports teams and Hollywood stars next decide our health care policy?

Texas is the 10th-largest economy in the world. We cannot sell our children’s safety for 30 pieces of silver or any price quoted by political shakedown operatives.

As a former NCAA athlete, I am a product of Title IX and the advancements made in women’s athletics. Since Title IX began in 1972, we have seen a 600-percent increase in college women’s sports. Unless we act, those advancements may erode into a gender-fluid swamp of litigation.

If males can instantly declare to be female, then what becomes of female athletics — or women’s rights for that matter?

The Obama order was based on an idea that Washington, D.C., can tell us that gender boundaries no longer exist. Unfortunately, anyone who disagrees may be labeled as intolerant or bullied into silence.

This bill is about more than bathrooms; something much deeper is at stake.

Texas was built on a moral foundation. Sam Houston spoke of “doing right” and risking the consequences. Houston’s words still ring true — but incredibly today we risk consequences for the high crime of defending the safety of women and children.

Out-of-state activists have arrived to derail SB 6 — but we won’t be deterred.

My job is to protect everyone’s rights and tell the truth, even if I draw the wrath of liberal elites or agenda-driven journalists.

And the truth is that we need and deserve the Texas Privacy Act.

Kolkhorst is a Republican member of the Texas Senate.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Commentary: Why Austin should take Dale Watson’s exit seriously
Commentary: Why Austin should take Dale Watson’s exit seriously

There’s a conversation in Austin that’s as predictable as starting the day with breakfast tacos and it revolves around the question that’s on a lot of people’s minds: Is our Austin dying? From Pinballz to Luis’ Corner Barber Shop and Yoga Vida to the patio over at LaLa’s, we love talking about what Austin is evolving...
Letters to the editor: March 25, 2018
Letters to the editor: March 25, 2018

Truly we all feel the Austin Police Department did an outstanding job of apprehending the bomber that terrified the city. As many other law enforcement agencies assisted in this process, the Austin police served as the base to create the successful outcome. The mayor and City Council can now come to terms to provide a mutually agreed upon contract...
Herman: Napkin folding, hand kissing and other diplomatic intricacies
Herman: Napkin folding, hand kissing and other diplomatic intricacies

Our president recently tweeted this at us: “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job!” Exciting. The guy in charge of getting dirt on other countries will become the guy in charge of getting along with other countries. What could possibly go wrong? The change means Secretary of...
Facebook comments: March 25, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Sean Collins Walsh, Claire Osborn, Tony Plohetski, Jeremy Schwartz and Mary Huber relatives of Mark A. Conditt issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying they are shocked and devastated by the revelation that he was behind the string of bombings that have terrorized Austin this month. The statement was...
Jonathan Evison’s latest, ‘Lawn Boy,’ brings humor to life’s misfortunes
Jonathan Evison’s latest, ‘Lawn Boy,’ brings humor to life’s misfortunes

An aimless young man decides to get his life together, but life has other plans in Jonathan Evison’s “Lawn Boy.” Mike Muñoz doesn’t quite know what he wants out of life, but he knows he deserves better than what he’s got now: a terrible job cutting lawns, a truck that barely runs, and a tiny house packed with a...
More Stories