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SB6 will hurt people

It will hurt transgender people, who despite what Dan Patrick would have you think, are people like you and me.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has said his so-called bathroom bill isn’t discriminatory because transgender people can update their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity.

However, statistics obtained by the Observer from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) suggest that fewer than 1 percent of transgender Texans have updated their birth certificates, meaning the overwhelming majority could be forced to use restrooms that don’t match their gender identity under Senate Bill 6.

LGBT advocates said the DSHS statistics, which have not before been made public, underscore the obstacles transgender Texans face if they seek to correct their gender markers on state identification documents.

[…]

According to DSHS, a total of 497 Texas natives updated their birth certificates “to reflect a medical or surgical sex change” from 2006 to 2016. Last year, the Williams Institute at UCLA estimated that 125,000 transgender adults reside in Texas.

DSHS spokesperson Chris Van Deusen said the department doesn’t specifically track the number of transgender people who’ve corrected their birth certificates. However, in response to a request from the Observer, the state agency compiled the data based on how many people have updated their birth certificates using a court order.

“A court order is required to change the sex due to a medical or surgical sex change but not for a change due to an error,” Van Deusen said. “We’re reasonably confident this captures all changes to sex on birth certificates due to a court order.”

Texas has no standardized procedure for transgender people to update their birth certificates or driver’s licenses, and judges in only three of the state’s 254 counties — Bexar, Dallas and Travis — routinely issue court orders granting gender-marker changes, according to LGBT advocates. Last year, a Texas appeals court in Harris County rejected a trans man’s petition for a gender-marker change on his driver’s license.

There’s no standard procedure for updating one’s birth records. If you were born in another state, which may or may not even allow for this kind of correction, you may be out of luck. If you’re under 18, you are definitely out of luck. Even if all of these procedural issues could be resolved, this would still be discriminatory. Why should trans people have to go through all of this time and expense to be able to use a public restroom?

By the way, this is somewhat parallel to the experience of gays and lesbians before the Obergefell decision, in that in order to mimic the legal rights and protections granted under the law to straight married couples, they had to jump through dozens of legal hoops, often spending hundreds or thousands of dollars in lawyers’ fees to achieve it. Requiring a class of people to expend time and money on things that everyone else gets to have for free no questions asked is the definition of discrimination.

Trans people have been using bathrooms without any fuss for decades. It was never a problem until Dan Patrick decided it was one. His “remedy” to this non-problem will help no one, but it will hurt many people. There are lots of valid business and economic reasons to oppose SB6, and I thank the people in the business community who have helped lead the fight against it. But at the end of the day, this is about treating people as people. Dan Patrick wants to treat some people as something less. I cannot abide that.

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2 Comments

  1. Neither Here Nor There says:

    The estimation is just an estimation, I read the link and they are guessing.

    There are numerous books on war or politics if one prefers, divide is one of them. Republicans have spent years learning and practicing the techniques. Because the tent for the Democrats is much larger there are more groups to divide.

    Bob Lanier’s favorite president was FDR and he knew how FDR won the hearts of Americans, as a result Lanier may the most liked Mayor in the history of Houston.

    The Democratic Party has its work cut out if they are going to keep winning. Here in Harris County they can’t just wait for presidential years.

    Texas Republicans for the most part have not gotten into Muslim bashing, just an observation. But some of them are burning down Mosques.

  2. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Want to see the face of the enemy, they can be found in the White House. One has to assume that ALL Republicans are the same. Don’t believe what they say, believe what they do against,”Actions speak louder than words”. Source for below

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-appointees-minorities-women-234315

    Several of Donald Trump’s hires at the Education Department have used Twitter and Facebook to share their unfiltered opinions about African-Americans, transgender people and “fat chicks,” a POLITICO review of social media accounts shows.

    Derrick Bolen, a former campaign worker, once tweeted: “Walking to class and this black girl goes shout out to all my niggas #ImWhite.”

    Teresa UnRue, a former field organizer for the Trump campaign, shared a video on Facebook of an African-American man eating fried chicken and wondering aloud why other African-Americans are mad about slavery when “Y’all weren’t no damn slaves.”

    “Had me crack’n up!! Thank you!” UnRue wrote.

    A third hire and former campaign worker, Kevin Eck, tweeted about an all-black cast for “The Wiz Live!” on NBC. “There sure would be quite an uproar if it was an all-white cast.” He later posted his apology.

    Several of Donald Trump’s hires at the Education Department have used Twitter and Facebook to share their unfiltered opinions about African-Americans, transgender people and “fat chicks,” a POLITICO review of social media accounts shows.

    Derrick Bolen, a former campaign worker, once tweeted: “Walking to class and this black girl goes shout out to all my niggas #ImWhite.”

    Teresa UnRue, a former field organizer for the Trump campaign, shared a video on Facebook of an African-American man eating fried chicken and wondering aloud why other African-Americans are mad about slavery when “Y’all weren’t no damn slaves.”

    “Had me crack’n up!! Thank you!” UnRue wrote.

    A third hire and former campaign worker, Kevin Eck, tweeted about an all-black cast for “The Wiz Live!” on NBC. “There sure would be quite an uproar if it was an all-white cast.” He later posted his apology.

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