With a House vote on that very controversial 'bathroom bill' looming, both sides are taking vigorous action to make sure their side gets the edge, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Several evangelical and conservative groups have bought radio ads on stations all over the state. One features a little girl who is identified as a student in the Dripping Springs ISD, which last year instituted a policy allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom that matched thier 'gender identity.' It is a policy that would be outlawed under the measure which has been approved in the Texas Senate and is now awaiting action in the house.
"It makes me feel uncomfortable that a boy could be in the same restroom as me," the girl says in the radio ad. "I don't even want my little brother in there."
In another ad, a Hill Country horseback riding instructor says businesses, and not local governments, should decide what their restroom policies should be. The Senate bill would roll back 'Non Discrimination Ordinances' passed by local governments, some of which require that private companies open their restrooms on the basis of 'gender identity.'
"A majority of Texas do not want grown men in the women's bathroom,' the business owner says in the ad. "That goes for showers and locker rooms too."
Groups that oppose the legislation are also speaking out.The Texas Association of Business released a survey showing htat only 26% of Texas votes who plan to cast ballots in next spring's Republican primaries support the 'bathroom bill,' a clear warning that GOP House members who support the bill could find themselves out of office next year."
Texas business has long opposed the bathroom bill because it is unnecessary and will have significant negative economic impact on Texas," TAB CEO Jeff Moseley said. "The significance of these surveys, is the voice of individual Republican primary voters echoing the business perspective with over 60% of the opposing respondents saying that the bill is unnecessary, and distracts from the real issues facing Texas today."
The survey shows that whether it is a marginal House district or an overwhelmingly Republican one, there is little support among voters in cities, suburbs, and rural areas for the measure that would require that a person use the rest room which matches his or her gender identity.
At the same time, more than fifty Houston area business executives, including the heads of the state's largest oil and gas companies, have signed a statement opposing the bill, and saying it would damage the state's economy in general, and their operations in particular.
It is unclear when the House will take up the Senate bill. There has been talk of parliamentary maneuvers, including an exit of Democrats from the state, to prevent the measure from being discussed in the House.