Apparently Texas doesn’t read the papers, because that state’s legislature is all set to pass their own anti-trans Bathroom Bill and are woefully unaware the damage the same bill did in North Carolina—to businesses and tourism and to the GOP—last year.
In an effort to appear less bigoted and transphobic, the Texas bathroom bill, sponsored by a Republican ... because, of course ... Senator Lois Kolkhorst, would allow organizations like the NFL and NCAA to set their own bathroom policies at their venues in Texas, but the law would prohibit cities from passing local laws to safeguard transgender rights. But, you do see what she did? She’s trying to appease the sports organizations while at the same time passing a hate bill.
Now, some groups, such as Dallas' convention and visitors bureau, have labeled the bill “discriminatory" and said it perpetuates the idea that Texas does not value the rights of its LGBT community ... which, seriously, it doesn’t; and LGBT advocates say even that proposing this kind of discriminatory legislation encourages attacks against the transgender community, a community already at risk for bullying, discrimination and even violence.
So what do sports organizations do ... well, both the NFL and the NBA have come out strongly against the Bathroom Bill and are warning Texas against passing hate into law ...
In a statement, NBA spokesman Mike Bass:
"We consider a wide range of factors when making decisions about host locations for league-wide events like the All-Star Game—foremost among them is ensuring the environment where those who participate and attend are treated fairly and equally."
And this is nothing new for the NBA; they came through on a promise to move the NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans after lawmakers in North Carolina passed an anti-transgender bathroom bill into law.
And shortly after the Super Bowl in Houston, the NFL warned the state of Texas that this proposed Bathroom Bill could impact future decisions about the location of major sporting events.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy:
“The NFL embraces inclusiveness. We want all fans to feel welcomed at our events and NFL policies prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law [in Texas], that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events.”
Now, to be fair, since this year’s Super Bowl was held in Texas, the NFL does not have another one planned for Texas in the near future, but with both the NFL and the NBA coming on strong, several other sports leagues, including the Atlantic Coast Conference, the NBA and the NCAA—who have pulled events from North Carolina after its Hate Bill was passed—might come on board to fight hate in Texas, too.
Naturally, conservatives in Texas instantly came for the NFL, saying they had no business getting involved in the issue. Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, who was largely mum on the bathroom bill—but, let’s be queer, is no LGBT ally—has now become very outspoken; he has even suggested passing a law .... passing a law ... to require NFL players to stand during the national anthem if the league decided to boycott Texas.
And both Senator Kolkhorst and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the bathroom bill's loudest supporters, have shrugged off these warnings, noting that the bill would let organizations like the NBA and NFL choose their own bathroom policies during major events.
I guess they don’t get it; the NFL, the NBA, other sports associations and businesses, will not be coming to Texas if discrimination becomes law. And just because you allow these groups to create their own bathroom rules doesn’t mean that Texas isn’t virulently anti-gay and anti-Trans.
Discrimination anywhere is unacceptable and intolerant and so good on the NBA and the NFL for standing up for trans rights.