2017-03-08 04:45:39 UTC
By Tony Perkins, President
Family Research Council
March 7, 2017
Good morning. My name is Tony Perkins. It is an honor to be back
testifying before the Texas Legislature. The last time I was here, I
was a legislator from Louisiana, and George W. Bush was governor, so
its been a few years.
Today I am here in my capacity as President of the Family Research
Council in Washington, D.C., speaking in support of Senate Bill 6.
This bill is simple, and it is timely. S.B. 6 takes a common sense
approach to an issue of public safety and personal privacy
namely, that showers, bathrooms and changing facilities designated for
males or females should be used only by people of that biological sex.
The reason we have separate boys rooms and girls rooms is not
because their gender identities are different or their gender
expression is different. It is because their basic physical anatomy
As a parent of 5 children, I am more than sympathetic to the
sensitivity and the self consciousness that students have in
undressing in a school locker room, or taking a shower in front of
their peersit would be traumatic for many children and adolescents to
do so in the
presence of someone of the opposite biological sex.
Although these concerns regarding physical privacy and modesty are
especially acute for children in schools, the same concerns apply to
adults in bathrooms or changing facilities located in buildings
operated by state or local government. Many people in debates across
the nation have pointed out, allowing people to choose bathrooms
and changing facilities on the basis of their gender identity rather
than biological sex creates a potential danger.
Let me emphasize that the threat does not primarily come from persons
who identify as transgender. Rather, it comes from those who might
exploit the situation by posing as transgender to gain easier access
to (usually) womens bathrooms or changing facilities, where
they can engage in voyeurism, indecent exposure, or even sexual
Some people claim that such incidents never happen. Perhaps theyve
never heard of Robert Domaskyia man who posed as a female
cheerleading coach and entered the girls locker room of a high school
in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, intending to lure one of the girls to his
home. Perhaps theyve never heard of Colleen Francisii, a 45-year-old
biological male who claims to be a transgender female. He exposed his
male genitalia through the glass window of a sauna to a group of high
school girls who were using the locker room at Evergreen State College
in the state of Washington. Maybe theyve also never heard of
Christopher Hambrookiiia convicted sex offender who posed as a
transgender female to enter a womens shelter in Toronto, Canada and
proceeded to sexually assault a woman on her bed.
Now, some people may argue that we have laws against these behaviors
already and new laws wont deter them. Others may argue that such
predators will attempt such harmful conduct regardless of the law.
These arguments ignore the deterrent value of the ordinary citizen
empowered to sound the alarm when something appears out of placelike
a biological male in a womens locker room. Women and girls may be
less willing and less likely to say something if they see something
out of fear they would be charged with gender identity
discrimination. It was welcome news when President Trumps
administration recently withdrew an Obama administration policy that
sought to impose a transgender bathroom and locker room policy on
every school in the country. However, the withdrawal of the Obama
administration guidance to schools does not eliminate the threat to
privacy and security. It is now up to state legislatures to ensure the
safety and well-being of their citizens. That is why S.B. 6 is timely
and will influence the rest of the nation.
This bill responds to a potential threat not just from the federal
government, but from local governments and school districts within
Texas that might choose to adopt non-discrimination laws or policies
that elevate gender identity over biological sex and thereby
threatening the security and privacy of Texans. Thats exactly what
happened in Houstonuntil the people placed the issue on the ballot
and overturned the action of the City Council and Mayor. Keep in mind
that this bill leaves private entitiesstores, restaurants, corporate
offices, sporting leaguescompletely free to establish whatever policy
they wish for the facilities under their control.
S.B. 6 allows individuals to access facilities consistent with their
gender or chosen gender identity as reflected on their birth
certificate. Additionally, S.B. 6 expressly authorizes the provision
of accommodation in the form of a single-occupancy bathroom or
changing facility. Senate Bill 6 thus actually provides for the
legitimate needs of the 0.6% of the population that reportedly
identify as transgender, without trampling on the rights to safety and
privacy of the vast majority.
I urge you to support this legislation