The bill would require transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificate. But unlike in North Carolina, the Texas bill has split conservatives and faces a tougher road. The "bathroom bill" has received numerous objections, including Amazon and American Airlines, celebrities such as Lady Gaga and warnings from the NFL and NBA.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick issued a statement following the passing of Senate Bill 6.
"The people of Texas elected us to stand by our principles and uphold conservative values. The Texas Privacy Act reflects common decency and common sense and is essential to protect public safety. It protects Texas businesses and codifies what has always been common practice in Texas and everywhere else -- that men, women, boys and girls should use separate, designated restrooms, locker rooms and showers in government buildings and public schools," Patrick said in a statement.
The bill will head to the House, where powerful Republican speaker Joe Straus says he has no appetite for the bill he has likened to a job-killer. Straus has stopped short of declaring the bill dead on arrival but his public and repeated denouncements are significant.
"They have their agenda, we have ours," Straus said.
On Tuesday, the Texas Senate tentatively passed the bill with 21 ayes and 10 nays.
SEE ALSO: Local transgender boy speaks out against 'bathroom bill'
Straus stopped short of declaring the bill dead on arrival with three months of lawmaking still remaining in Texas. But he has repeatedly denounced it as bad for the Texas economy, while standing with corporate opponents that include Google, Amazon, American Airlines, Microsoft, Intel and Hilton.
The National Football League and National Basketball Association have also said that passing the bill could give them second thoughts about bringing big events, such as the Super Bowl and All-Star game, back to Texas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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