Texas SB6 Bathroom Bill

6 March 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I am at the Austin Capitol at the Trans Texas Lobby Day today and will testify before the Senate Committee on SB 6 tomorrow. My testimony is provided below for your review.

You can support our grassroots work in Texas to end discrimination against Transgender persons as well as members of the LGBTQ community. Use #STOPSB6 to express your views and “like” our Facebook postings on the activities here.

As of this morning, there are 17 bills that can be classified as "anti-LGBT" (some of these are companion bills, identical in the House and Senate). Within these there are 9 religious liberty bills, many of them broadly worded to allow refusals of service, medical treatment, housing, care, and other actions, based on "sincerely held religious belief" or "moral conviction."

At least 4 bills are focused on marriage equality in Texas: either nullifying it altogether, or allowing county clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Virtually any of these bills, if passed, would put Texas in the headlines and have an impact on how businesses, meeting planners, workers, and investors view the state. We will keep you posted on these. 

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This morning, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick held a press conference on SB6. He was joined by Lt. Gov. Dan Forrest of North Carolina. Forrest referenced economic growth in North Carolina and, contrary to Dan Patrick's talking points that SB6 and HB2 are different bills, Forrest noted that "this bill in Texas is very similar to the bill in North Carolina."

The big surprise of this press conference was the presence of Senator Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) in support of SB6. Lucio's yes vote, alongside the four committee members who are co-authors on the bill (Senators Birdwell, Creighton, Estes, Hughes), would signal that the bill has enough votes to get out of the 9-member State Affairs Committee. 

The Texas Welcomes All campaign led its own press conference on the North Steps of the Capitol today, laying out the economic risks to Texas' very important tourism industry. Organizations represented will include SXSW, Alamo Drafthouse, C3 Presents, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, VisitDallas, Keep TexasOpen for Business, and Silicon Labs.   More information is available at https://www.equalitytexas.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Click-here-for-...

Thank you.

Cindi Love

 

March 7, 2017

Testimony by Rev. Dr. Cindi Love Executive Director American College Personnel Association One DuPont Circle NW Washington, DC 20036 clove@acpa.nche.edu

Honorable Chair Huffman and members of the Committee, I am Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, a fourth-generation Texan from Taylor County and Executive Director of ACPA—the American College Personnel Association in Washington, D.C. I am here to testify in opposition to Senate Bill 6.

The core values of our Association include equity, inclusion and human dignity. Last year, in accordance with these values, we withdrew our Institute on Assessment from North Carolina when House Bill 2 passed. http://www.meetings-conventions.com/News/Other-News/College-Personnel-As... Our annual convention is contracted for Houston in 2018. Your decision on SB 6 will bear upon our decision to remain or withdraw from Houston. We must conduct our business in places where our members, professionals and students alike, will be safe and welcome. http://www.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/Concerned...

SB6 is not only unsafe but jeopardizes billions in federal financial aid money coming to colleges and universities in Texas. The bill is in direct conflict with protections provided to college students under Title IX. We must maintain and grow these protections. In 2003, I was an Executive Dean in the Dallas County Community College system when I met my first transgender student, Angel Collie. He is now a member of ACPA. After community college, Angel completed his Bachelor’s and the Masters of Divinity at Yale and is now an Assistant Director in the Student Affairs division of Duke University—taxpayer, homeowner and law-abiding citizen.

Angel was no threat to anyone in 2003 and is no threat to anyone now. In fact, the reverse is true. We are the threat to Angel. Imagine being called for jury duty and knowing that you cannot use the restroom within the court facilities. Imagine working on a campus the size of UT and be told that you have to use a restroom 15-minutes away. Put yourself in Angel’s place.

Do the right thing. Do not allow SB 6 to move out of this Committee.

Rev. Dr. Love’s Texas Address:

Abilene, TX 79604 972-358-5907