June 20, 2017
Texas leaders have a month to get ready for the state's special session -- and a new University of Texas poll is giving them plenty to think about while they do. Turns out, House Speaker Joe Straus is in the minority when he says the privacy act doesn't matter. "There's no evidence of a problem," he said March. "We will always have public debate, but this is not an issue that rises to a level of extreme importance."
Tell that to Lone Star State voters, who think the gender debate matters a lot more than they did in February. The University of Texas/Texas Tribune polled voters and found that 44 percent of all locals think the topic is important, including 57 percent of Republicans. That may not sound like a lot, but it's a significant jump over the last few months, analysts point out. "Lt. Governor Dan Patrick led the charge in... making it more salient to Republicans," said Jim Henson, who heads up the Texas Politics Project at UT. "It worked. Whatever their attitudes are, when we ask if it's important for the Legislature to act, the number of Republicans who thought so increased 13 points from February to June -- and 31 points among Tea Party Republicans [to 70 percent]."
Like most Americans, Texans agree that men shouldn't be allowed to use girl's restrooms, showers, or locker rooms. Sixty-nine percent, to be exact (and that includes 56 percent of Democrats!). "When Texans were told that some businesses believe legislation prohibiting men from using women's bathrooms 'might look discriminatory and could hurt businesses,' opinions do not change substantially as 68 percent still support the proposed law to prohibit men from entering a public women's shower, locker room or restroom."
We congratulate Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) and Lt. Governor Patrick for taking the concerns – and privacy -- of Texans seriously. Let's hope politicians like Straus can put aside their personal agendas long enough to do the will of the people.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.