Allie Morris, San Antonio Express-News
More than 100 people joined pastors on the steps of the Texas Capitol on Thursday to rally for the so-called bathroom bill and demand the House vote on the measure, which critics warn discriminates against transgender people.
“Men should not have access to the showers, locker rooms, changing rooms of women and girls. It’s not safe, it’s not decent and it does not make sense,” Pastor Ericka McCrutcheon of Houston said at the event arranged by the U.S. Pastor Council.
Faith leaders are among several groups wading into the high-profile debate over restrooms that is playing out during the special legislative session, though the spiritual community is fiercely divided over the bill.
Thursday’s event came just days after a separate group, representing Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths, rallied against the bill.
“The reality is faith traditions across the spectrum, from the level of little old lady in the pews to the level of the bishop at the national level, oppose this legislation,” said Bee Moorhead, executive director of Texas Impact.
The Senate-approved bill would require people in schools and government buildings to use public restrooms, changing rooms and locker rooms that match the sex on their birth certificates.
Supporters say the bill is needed to protect women’s privacy and safety, though critics argue that there have been no incidents caused by transgender people in restrooms. The bill faces a tough path in the House, where it is opposed by Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio.