Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick Would Support So-Called ‘Bathroom Bill'

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says he would support legislation for a so called "bathroom bill," like the one that recently passed in North Carolina.

The bill requires a person to use the public restroom corresponding to their sex on their birth certificate.

"This is not about equal rights. I am totally in favor of equal rights. I'm not prejudiced against anyone, but I don't want a man for any reason going into a woman's restroom or woman's locker room," said Patrick.

NBC 5 political reporter Julie Fine asked him, "What do you say, then, to transgender people who say that violates their rights?"

"I say that common sense, common decency, says that men should stay out of ladies' rooms, and I don't think it violates your rights," Patrick said. "And you could argue if you want, the overwhelming majority of the population – more than half – are female in America. How about their rights? Do you not have a right, and I don't want to put you in the middle of the story, but does a woman not have a right to be able to walk into a bathroom and feel comfortable?"

"And the way these ordinances are written, any man could walk into the bathroom if that's the way they feel that day," Patrick added.

Since North Carolina passed the legislation, the state has lost almost $40 million in revenue. Companies have called for it to be repealed, and protests continue.

This battle could come to Texas, if a state lawmaker proposes similar legislation.

Equality Texas, the state's largest LGBT lobbying organization has already spoken out against the petition.

Chairman Steve Rudner sent a statement to NBC 5, which reads, in part:

"Texans know which restroom to use; they don't need any help from the Texas Legislature. Transgender Texans have been using restrooms matching their gender identity for years. Equality Texas knows that any policies proposed as 'gender policing' are just new laws searching for a problem."

"We should all care about public safety, public privacy, and the facts:

  • Transgender people are not a threat; they are a group of individuals more likely to be the victims of assault than the perpetrator
  • Statistically, 80 percent of sexual assault is committed by someone known to the victim; the number increases to 86 percent in cases of child sexual assault
  • The majority of sexual assaults take place at the home of the victim, the perpetrator, or a place they both frequently be found."
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