Proposed "bathroom bill" could have financial repercussions for Texas

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
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ACLU releases online ad against proposed SB6, Deborah Wrigley reports.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A proposed "bathroom bill" could lead to financial repercussions for the entire state of Texas.

The Texas legislation is similar to a North Carolina law that prompted the league to move the All-Star Game out of that state. It would require people to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. Opponents believe the bill targets transgender people.

During the NBA All-Star game in New Orleans, Commissioner Adam Silver said the league would watch Texas and other states with similar bills. The All-Star weekend was moved to New Orleans from Charlotte after backlash over North Carolina's HB2 law.

"Our values, our league-wide values in terms of equality and inclusion are paramount to this league and all the members of the NBA family, and I think those jurisdictions that are considering legislation similar to HB2 are on notice that that is an important factor for us," Silver said. "Those values are an important factor for us in deciding where we take a special event like an All-Star Game."

It is one of many issues drawing the attention of both the league and its players, with many NBA stars - including LeBron James - speaking out repeatedly of late about the need for equality in society. And Silver, while not going as far to say that considering such a law would keep Texas from being considered for All-Star events in the future, made clear that the NBA is watching.

As a sign of how contentious it is, Texas Governor Dan Patrick said, "If Roger Goodell and Adam Silver want these policies, they need to run for public office."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas worked with Academy Award-nominated director Richard Linklater to create an ad that criticizes the proposed Texas transgender bathroom bill. Linklater is a native Texan known for his Oscar-winning film, Boyhood. He also directed Bernie, Bad News Bears, School of Rock, and Dazed and Confused.

The ad is titled, "Taking a Seat, Making a Stand" and it features people saying, "I Pee with LGBT."

Another individual in the video, while wearing a cowboy hat says, "Because passing this bill discriminates against family and friends. And because we damn sure ain't going to end up like North Carolina."

Lou Weaver, a transgender man and community advocate, consulted on the ad campaign.

"The opposition to the transgender community right now is using a hate message. It's fear-mongering. Transgender people are not people to be afraid of," he said.

The ACLU argues that bill would keep Texas from landing businesses and deems the bill "hateful."

"Passing the bill would harm Texas business to the tune of billions of dollars, just ask North Carolina," ACLU said on their YouTube page.

Furthermore, the group says, "A bathroom is not where women and children are at risk. Where our public bathrooms are concerned, transgender people are the real targets: 70 percent of transgender men and women report having been verbally or physically attacked while using a restroom."

Patrick feels Texas is being bullied by major sports leagues, like the NBA and NFL.

"The values of Texas families are to keep their children safe," he said. "The opposition just totally blows this economic data all out of proportion."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.