Monday, April 13, 2015 – The Bathroom Issue
I see where the Grand Old Tea Party (GOTP) is now in my bathroom. At least they are in the bathrooms of the transgender people.
Two bills filed this year by Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, would make it a crime to enter a public restroom or locker room not designated for a person’s biological sex at birth. Does this mean that one must take a gender test before they can go to the public bathroom? And it would be a crime to pee in the wrong bathroom. Tell me one woman who has not used the men’s restroom with no line at a concert!
And two bills more filed by state Rep. Gilbert Peña, R-Pasadena, would permit a bystander to sue a transgender person who used a prohibited bathroom for up to $2,000, in addition to compensation for “mental anguish.” Does this mean “a bystander” can wait outside public bathrooms to enforce this new law if passed? Will they be known as Protesting Potty Police (PPP)? With open carry of handguns, this could pose some very interesting news headlines.
“Mental anguish?” How will this be measured? “While you are urinating, please rate the level of mental anguish you endured on a scale of one to ten. Hand your survey to the PPP outside the restroom.”
The Baptist Church in Austin was faced with a similar problem when a transgendered couple wanted to attend church. Sidebar: this is the Baptist Church near The University of Texas campus on the Drag. It takes great pride in being kicked out of every Southern Baptist conference, convention and assembly dating back to as early as 1948. That was when they let Black people attend. Then they let Brown people, divorced people and gay and lesbian people come to church with no judgement. They feed the homeless too. But the bathroom became an issue when a transgender couple wanted to attend church services.
Rather than knee jerking legislation against people you do not understand, members of the congregation and the deacons met with the couple. The issue was not their attendance. Nor their gender transformation. They were welcomed. The issue was church members were not comfortable explaining complex transgender issues to their young children. The transgender couple understood. They were given a key to another bathroom and everyone was happy. It is called communication and compromise with compassion for diversity added. The GOTP might want to try those strategies.