The all-male Bexar County Commissioners Court is being blasted as being 'anti-woman,' after approving a new Non Discrimination law which extends protections based on 'gender identity and gender expression,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Instead of working to create a better environment for women and encourage the hiring of more qualified women, they have removed expected levels of privacy for women in intimate places such as bathrooms and locker rooms associated with county buildings," said State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels).
The vote will place protections on the basis of gender identity on a par with protections against discrimination based on race, age, gender, and veteran status.
"On a Commissioner's Court dominated by men, it is sad but not surprising to see concerns fro women's privacy so easily dismissed," Campbell said.
Pro family groups have complained that adding gender status to Non Discrimination Ordinances will open the door for men, regardless of their gender identity, to use women's restrooms, shower rooms, and other facilities, where they will intimidate and sexually assault women and girls.
San Antonio approved similar protections in 2013, and so far that has not been a problem and there has been no increase in assaults committed in restrooms or other intimate facilities.
It was concerns about local Non Discrimination Ordinances that led to the eventually unsuccessful measure in the Texas Legislature last year to restrict restroom use to the gender on the person's birth certificate.
Opponents said the law was not needed due to a lack of incidents reported, and would send a signal that Texas was not welcoming to new employers and workers.
Sen. Campbell says Bexar County Commissioners should work on being more welcoming to people who are already here, namely women."
The changes to their EEO Policy do nothing to curb the sexism and discrimination that far too many women already experience in the workplace, while guaranteeing new never-before-seen protections for men who identify or express themselves as women," she said.