Texas SB6 Bathroom Bill

Texas SB6 No

By Dian Squire, Ph.D.
Director, Equity & Inclusion

If you haven’t been made aware, Texas legislators have introduced to the senate State Bill 6 (SB6), the latest anti-transgender “bathroom bill” in our country.  The bill is colloquially titled “The Texas Privacy Bill.”  The bill would restrict trans-identified people from utilizing restrooms and changing facilities that align with their gender identity.  This applies to public colleges and universities, and public K-12 and charter schools.

Unlike North Carolina’s infamous HB2 bill which has cost the state upwards of $200M dollars in lost business, SB6 provides provisions for business and organizations (such as ACPA) to utilize rented facilities as they wish thereby allowing us to continue to provide gender neutral/all gender bathrooms during Convention.  This provision attempts to remove the financial risk of passing the bill; however, some analysts suggest the state will still lose up to $8B dollars due to the size of the state.  Additionally, this bill would prevent all local anti-discriminatory ordinances, but it is currently unclear whether it will retroactively repeal current ordinances.

In line with ACPA’s values, mission, and vision, ACPA firmly opposes the passage of SB6 or any like-oppressive legislation.  As such, we call on our members to help pressure state legislators to remove this bill from consideration.  Time is of the essence.  Below are steps you can take immediately to help stop the passage of this bill.  Below that are the steps that ACPA is currently undertaking.

You may be wondering if we will remove the Convention from Houston for #ACPA18.  It is currently the decision of the Governing Board not to change venues.  This decision is a moral decision, not a financial one.  Over the last two years, Dr. Cindi Love, Executive Director of ACPA, has worked tirelessly with local LGB and T advocacy organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Equality Texas, ACPA members in Texas, and local activists to better understand the climate and culture of Houston and Texas and to “remain ahead” of this moment. (Read the HuffPost article here.)

It is at the urging recommendation of local community organizations and ACPA members in Texas that ACPA remain in Houston for #ACPA18 and utilize its many platforms, including its largest, Convention, to push for equity and justice in the state. This coming weekend, the newly selected Convention Steering Team will meet in Houston to continue discussions about how Convention can be used as a leverage point to create sustainable change in Texas and provide an atmosphere where our members can be safe and learn.  Barring unforeseeable circumstances ACPA will work for justice in Texas.


  • Fill up the in-boxes, voice mails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin accounts of Texas legislators.  SB6 must still be read on the Senate floor, assigned to a committee to set the calendar for it, hearings must be held and two more reads must occur before there is a vote.  Equality Texas has set up a site to automatically send an email to Texas legislators:  https://secure.everyaction.com/_DyseilpZkSDRx2Va3qCUg2

I hope you will include the list of facts below in your communications with your neighbors and legislative representatives.  

  1. The existence of trans people does not threaten the privacy of anyone else.  Trans people exist. Some people may be uncomfortable with this fact, but discomfort with difference is not the same as infringement of privacy.

  2. Trans women and girls are women and girls. They are not “biological males” or “men pretending to be women” — no qualifications needed. The same is true for trans men and boys, who are men and boys.

  3. Extending legal protections to transgender identified people, including when it comes to using restrooms and locker rooms, does not threaten the safety of anyone else. This has been proven time and time again despite the ongoing rhetoric to the contrary.

  4. Policing of gender or genitals in restrooms is bad for everyone. There is no way to actually enforce these anti-trans bathroom laws except by exposing us all to intrusive questioning about our bodies, our gender, and our government documents.

  5. Anti-trans laws are not really about restrooms, locker rooms, safety, or privacy but about expelling trans people from public life. Those most impacted by these laws have been and will always be trans people who are already subject to the most policing and violence — particularly trans women and femmes of color.  https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/transgender-people-arent-threat-you

  6. Educate yourself and your colleagues, neighbors, and friends about the trans university experience.  Pick up a great new book by Dr. Z Nicolazzo called Trans* in college: Transgender students’ strategies for navigating campus life and the institutional politics of inclusion today.  You can also learn more about action steps by reading ACPA’s Developmental Pathways to Trans Inclusion on College Campuses, a monograph co-authored by an ACPA member in Texas and me.

  7. Tweet and utilize the hashtag #FREE2B&PWITHU&ME and hashtag #ACPA or @ACPA with your message against SB6.

  8. Engage with myself, the ACPA leadership, and central staff office about your questions, comments, and concerns regarding SB6, #ACPA18 in Houston, or if you have suggestions for additional action or ways we can support you.


  1. As previously mentioned, Dr. Cindi Love has met with local groups in Texas over the past couple years to “stay ahead” of these types of actions.  She has also published a piece this weekend on Huffington Post titled "Can You Pass the OK in Texas Test?".  Please read, share, and comment on the post to move it to the top of the readership list.

  2. We will consult with membership about the withdrawal of our Convention from Texas and the cost to the association.  However, as stated previously, it is our current stance to stay in the state.  Aside from cost, this conversation will also include issues of safety, health, and privacy.

  3. Grassroots movements against SB6 will not be able to occur through ACPA due to the timeline; however, we will continue to inform and engage in the discussion about discrimination against trans-identified people and invite the public to engage in that discussion.

  4. We will continue to support local organizations on the ground in Texas who are fighting this battle every day.

  5. Depending on legislator reaction to these efforts and the efforts of others, we have considered additional actions that will support local colleges and universities and continue to bring to light the deleterious effects of this bill.

Dr. Dian Squire is the Director, Equity & Inclusion for ACPA and the Equity Chair for #ACPA18 in Houston.  He is also Visiting Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Iowa State University.  He can be reached @diansquire on Twitter or via email.