Female politicians in Texas protest anti-LGBT bathroom law by occupying the men’s toilets

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Female Democratic lawmakers in Texas protested the passage of an anti-trans bill by using the bathroom for male representatives.

The Texas state legislature, which only actually meets for a few months every two years, is approaching the end of its session and has been wrangling over anti-LGBT legislation.

After support from the state’s Governor and Liutenant Governor, the Texas House voted last night 91-50 to attach an anti-trans bathroom measure to an unrelated education law, Senate Bill 2078, in a bid to force it through before the deadline.

The vote was broadly along party lines within the Republican-dominated chamber.

However, the Democratic women in the chamber protested beforehand… by using the bathroom for men’s representatives.

Victoria Neave on Twitter

Women Representatives in the Men Representatives’ bathroom prior to debate re: bathrooms. #txlege @DonnaHowardTX @CeliaIsrael @GinaForAustin https://t.co/WudlgzYSD4

The amendment, penned by Republican Rep. Chris Paddie, would ban transgender children from using gendered changing rooms or locker rooms other than those of their “biological sex”, or a “single-occupant facility”.

Paddie denied it was “discriminatory”.

He said: “It’s absolutely about child safety… this is about accommodating all kids.”

But LGBT advocates say it’s plain discrimination.

The Human Rights Campaign said: “Policies such as this one, which make classifications on the basis of “biological sex,” are designed to alienate transgender students from their peers.

“Research shows that anti-transgender legislation can lead to increased instances of bullying of LGBTQ students and even an uptick in suicide.

“With this move, the legislature continues to waste taxpayers’ time and money while playing politics with people’s lives by targeting LGBTQ people and, in particular, transgender children.”

JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s senior vice president for policy and political affairs, added: “This shameful amendment is yet another example of Texas lawmakers’ anti-LGBTQ agenda.

“Transgender youth deserve the same dignity and respect as their peers, and this craven attempt to use children as a pawn for cheap political points is disturbing and unconscionable.”

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said: “Thousands of Texans have spoken out only to be ignored in sham hearings at the Capitol.

“Children spoke out about their fear of being bullied, transgender people fought for their rights, business leaders warned about the very real threat to our economy, and Republicans charged forward with their fingers jammed in their ears.

“Texas Republicans have talked about the end of civilization, because of bathroom boogeymen, if they don’t pass their potty police bill.

“Our economy is slipping, college is out of reach, Texans need a raise, and school finance is broken, but today Texas Republicans spent Texans’ tax dollars and precious time to debate bathrooms.”

Related: Texas TV ad attacking LGBT rights depicts rape of small girl