AUSTIN, Texas - Female business leaders in Texas are the latest to speak out against the bathroom legislation. They said a bill would hurt them financially and will not make them any safer.
Police chiefs, religious leaders and now female business owners have taken to the steps of the capitol to voice their opposition against any legislation that tells people where they can and can't use the bathroom.
"As a woman, mother and Christian I object to being used as an excuse for bad legislation that law enforcement officers have said will not improve public safety,” said Belinda Matingou, Texas Association of Business.
Powerful women representing Fortune 500 companies like Dell spoke out about the harm such legislation would do when it comes to recruiting the best possible talent to our state.
"One of the main reasons I love going to work every day and doing what I do is because we have a culture of inclusion,” said J.J. Davis, Dell Global Communications.
Julie Chase of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau said the mere talk of a bathroom bill has cost the city more than $10 million in events.
"Events representing another $15 million will cancel if this bill is passed or any bills that discriminate,” said Chase.
Then there is the human side represented by a mom of a transgender daughter.
"Our transgender daughters safe in the men's restroom? Transgender people are people I can't believe we have to keep saying this,” said Kimberly Shappley.
Just as those in opposition have created public service announcements, those in support have too. Linda Dewhurst, sister-in-law of former Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, participated in this one for Texas Values.
"As parents, it is our moral duty to make sure children are provided these protections from those who would use the opportunity to cause harm to our daughters,” said Linda Dewhurst.
The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault said the argument of safety cannot be supported. Deputy Executive Director Rose Luna said claiming sex assaults could be prevented undermines the work of advocates.
"TAASA finds it inexcusable to use rape as a tool and to promote discrimination. That is worse,” said Luna.
"Let's treat all Texans with dignity and respect. Dignity over discrimination is a slogan all Texans should be able to support,” said Shappley.