The State Senate in Texas has voted in a preliminary hearing to keep laws in place which state that a person must use whatever bathroom is assigned to their gender as written on their #birth certificate. Human and civil rights groups have claimed that the bill, which is not yet officially a law, discriminates against those in society who are transgender. #The Senate in Texas is dominated by the Republicans, as is the House of Representatives where a final check of the bill will take place and a final decision regarding its legal standing will be made. Typically, this takes thirty days so a final result on the bill can be expected to be released around the middle of August 2017.

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The bill has brought into question the treatment of those who identify themselves as a gender, not specified on their birth certificate, and the enactment of perceived socially discriminatory laws by conservative parties and supporters.

What does the bill mean for the transgender community in Texas?

Simply, the bill, if put into law, will mean that everyone must use public toilets and any other publically-owned amenities such as changing rooms, school locker rooms etc. in accordance with the sex that is specified on their birth certificate. If a person does not identify with the sex on their birth certificate, they will still be required by law to use facilities which have been created specifically for their "official" gender. If a person was, in theory, not to adhere to these rules and regulations it would be a criminal offense.

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As reported by Reuters, conservatives " have said the proposed bathroom restrictions promote public safety and protect vulnerable #Women And Children". This old-fashioned view has not gone down well with liberals and those in support of transgender and non-gender specific rights. Fear is currently brewing amongst these communities that the approval and enactment of such a bill will cause a domino effect in terms of conservative demands.

Opponents of bill trying to fight back

Those who are in opposition to the bill are ensuring that their voices are heard. Human rights activists have argued that stating the safety of women and children is a very damaging notion and potentially very dangerous for the transgender community, as this group in society are already the victims of many discriminatory laws and views. It has also been said that negative behavior aimed specifically at the transgender community could occur as a result of the implications of this bill.

At the preliminary hearing in the Senate, the vote in favor of enacting the bill was 21-10.