HB 2899 Emerges as House Version to Protect Privacy and Safety in Restrooms, Etc.

HB 2899 has emerged as the House version of SB 6, the Texas Privacy Act and its language has evolved since it was filed so we believe it important for our Pastors to be briefed on the essential differences.  The latest substitute version of now CSHB 2899 is significantly improved over the second draft although still not as detailed in application as SB 6.

The public hearing in the State Affairs Committee on Wednesday for CSHB 2899 was a marathon loaded by LGBTQ activists and city officials from Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and, yes, even the City of Houston was represented by an assistant city attorney testifying AGAINST the bill on behalf of Mayor Sylvester Turner.  He has apparently forgotten the 61% to 39% defeat of his predecessor’s ordinance.

TXPC president Dave Welch testified in support and provided the committee members with our Pastors Open Letter containing names of 750 pastors to date as well as pointing out the need for state legislation because of the differing definitions of “gender identity” and punishments from city to city, school to school.

CHSB 2899 will if passed stop all existing and future local ordinances that allow biological males to use women’s or girls restrooms, showers, locker rooms or changing rooms.  The language is less detailed than SB 6 and does not add a definition of “biological sex” directly linked  to a person’s birth certificate into state law, however the greatest immediate threat to privacy and safety would be stopped.

State Representative Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) is the bill sponsor and has courageously taken up the issue to move something meaningful through the House since Speaker Joe Straus is clearly intent on acting as tyrant instead of Speaker by refusing to assign SB 6 to a House committee for consideration.

We expect that CSHB 2899 will be voted out of State Affairs Committee and sent to Calendars Committee where it will be put on a list to wait for a full vote of the House, however the “clock” is a key weapon of liberals who use stall tactics and run it out by tagging and other delays.

Pastors, we need to continue the calls to Representatives, particularly to State Affairs Committee  members, to ask for a timely vote on HB 2899 AND for SB 6 to be assigned to a committee:

House State Affairs Committee

District First Last Party Room #  Phone
109 Helen Giddings (D) GW.11 (512) 463-0953
8 Byron Cook* (R) GW.7 (512) 463-0730
134 Sarah Davis (R) GW.4 (512) 463-0389
99 Charlie Geren (R) GW.15 (512) 463-0610
88 Ken King (R) E2.410 (512) 463-0736
9 Chris Paddie (R) E2.502 (512) 463-0556
148 Jessica Farrar (D) 1N.8 (512) 463-0620
31 Ryan Guillen (D) 1W.3 (512) 463-0416
37 Rene Oliveira (D) 3N.6 (512) 463-0640
51 Eddie Rodriguez (D) 4S.5 (512) 463-0674
82 Tom Craddick (R) 1W.9 (512) 463-0500
44 John Kuempel (R) E2.422 (512) 463-0602
108 Morgan Meyer (R) E1.318 (512) 463-0367
86 John Smithee (R) 1W.10 (512) 463-0702

*Committee Chairman

 

KEY LANGUAGE OF CSHB 2899

Sec.A250.008.AACERTAIN REGULATION OF DISCRIMINATION

PROHIBITED. (a) Except in accordance with federal law as enacted by Congress and interpreted in controlling federal case law and state law as enacted by the legislature and interpreted in controlling case law of this state, a political subdivision, including a public school district, may not adopt or enforce an

order, ordinance, policy, or other measure to protect a class of persons from discrimination to the extent that the order, ordinance, policy, or other measure regulates access to multiple-occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities.

(b)ASubsection (a) may be enforced only through an action

instituted by the attorney general for mandamus or injunctive

relief. The attorney general may recover costs and attorney ’s fees

related to enforcing Subsection (a).