Bathroom bill wins preliminary approval in Texas Senate

The controversial bathroom bill in Texas is one step closer to becoming law.

The measure passed 21-10 on Tuesday after six hours of debate.

The bill requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificate.

Supporters said the bill would protect women from sexual crimes that could happen in bathrooms.

"I will tell you as a woman, this is not a joke. This is about dressing rooms, lockers, showers and restrooms. This is about privacy and protection for all people,” state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst said.

Opponents argued that there are already laws to prevent those types of crimes from happening. They made the point that when a transgender woman goes into a women’s restroom, she is entering as a woman and her intent is not to harm anyone.

El Paso Democratic Sen. Jose Rodriguez weighed in on the decision, saying, "Sen. Hall says, 'You know somebody can pretend that.' Well, you know, those are different kinds of folks. They don't need to be pretending to be a transgender woman."

Those against the bill also said there is a good chance that businesses will boycott the state’s decision and felt that it would ostracize the transgender community.

Rodriguez stated that the transgender community needs support.

“With regard to the transgender community -- our sons, our daughters, our brothers, our sisters, our friends and employees, in my case -- they have rights too,” Rodriguez said.

"They too are at the forefront of the civil rights struggle, and the courts seem to be in line with recognizing that."

A final vote is expected Wednesday. The proposal would next need to be approved by the House.

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