It was just a bill to regulate ride-sharing companies…until state Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) amended HB 100 to indicate that “‘sex’ means the physical condition of being male or female”—despite concerns from LGBT advocates that such language would exclude the trans community.
First it was the bathroom bill.
Then it was the failed budget amendment.
Then it was the House’s weakened, but still discriminatory, bathroom bill.
And now this, the latest attack on LGBT rights. Far-right Republicans will stop at nothing to push their agenda—an agenda that they know doesn’t resonate with most Texans.
The bill, as amended, passed the House earlier today. It next heads to the Senate. CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR (I’ve included a script below) and ask them to introduce an amendment deleting this language—especially if your senator is on the Transportation Committee, which is where the bill is likely headed from here. Deleting this language in the Senate would allow a conference committee (the body that negotiates differences between House and Senate versions of bills) to remove it from the final version of the bill.
From the Texas Tribune:
“[Paddie’s] bill was tentatively approved by the lower chamber in a 110-37 vote after representatives tacked on several amendments, including one that seeks to define “sex.” The measure needs final approval from the House before it could be considered in the Senate.
At times, the debate over the bill appeared to veer into one of the most contentious topics this session at the Capitol: gender identity. In the Senate, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has prioritized a “bathroom bill” that would require transgender people to use the restroom in some places that matches their “biological sex.”
On Wednesday, state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, successfully amended the ride-hailing bill to define “sex” as the “physical condition of being male or female.” The amendment, which passed 90-52, drew some concern from Democrats, who questioned whether it was a way to exclude a certain group.
“I can assure you that it is not my intent,” Paddie said, adding that he accepted the amendment because he views it as “further defining something that’s already defined.”
HB 100 would require ride-hailing companies to have a permit from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and pay an annual fee to operate throughout the state. It also calls for companies to perform local, state and national criminal background checks on drivers annually — which would override an Austin ordinance.
Read the full coverage at the Texas Tribune here.
Even if your senator is a Democrat, we need to communicate how much of a priority this is. Otherwise, anti-trans discrimination will become a part of Texas law.
▶ TEXAS SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), chair
Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), vice chair
Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe)
Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston)
Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)
Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen)
Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)
Charles Perry (R-Lubbock)
José Rodríguez (D-El Paso)
▶ PHONE SCRIPT, if you don’t know what to say
“My name is [your full name], and I’m a constituent from ZIP code [your ZIP code]. I’m calling about House Floor Amendment 12 to HB 100, by Tony Tinderholt, which establishes sex as the condition of being male or female. I strongly oppose that amendment because it is unnecessary and discriminates against the transgender community, and I’m asking Senator [senator’s last name] to introduce an amendment in the Senate to strike the language that Tinderholt added.”