Celebrities send open letter, opposing bathroom bill

The filing of Senate Bill Six, or the bathroom bill is getting lots of backlash. After the passage in North Carolina, Texas lawmakers are hoping to do the same thing.

Despite the opposition, in a briefing last month, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick  showed no signs of pumping the brakes.

“Texas is drawing a line in the sand and saying no. The privacy and safety of Texans is our first priority,” said Patrick.

The bill conjoined with HB 1362, would make transgender individuals use the restroom that matches their birth certificates, not their gender identity.

“SB 6 has absolutely nothing to do with safety. There are already laws in place that would deal with any illegal activity that would happen in a bathroom,” said Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas.

Smith stands behind an open letter written to lawmakers. It was signed by more than 140 celebrities including Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence, Texas' own Sarah Jaffe and more. In it they state "It is up to us to commit to doing everything in our power to make sure all our fans, cast and crew feel safe and welcome."

“Transgender people are more likely to be the victims of crime, not the perpetrators", said Smith.

The letter focuses on SB 6 but mentions other legislation deemed discriminatory by advocates. The Texas Association of Businesses says passing the bill could make the state lose millions.

With South by Southwest coming up, and more music events, the bill is something to watch closely.
Several of the artists who signed the letter have upcoming concerts in Texas, including the in the capital city.

“There is legitimate concern that if legislation were to pass, that it presents the state in a negative light,” said Smith.

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