"We all have to stand up, even if we’re not from Texas, or LGBTQ—we all have to say that this isn’t OK."From: NewNowNext
More than 140 artists and performers have signed an open letter attacking bathroom bills in Texas, including Lady Gaga, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Lawrence, Britney Spears, Sia and Laverne Cox.
Organized by Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff, the letter was sent to Texas legislators on Valentine’s Day, and indicates the signatories are “deeply troubled” by three anti-trans measures facing lawmakers.
Introduced in the legislature in January, SB 6 would bar transgender women from using public women’s restrooms. (Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says trans men were left off the bill because “men can defend themselves.”)
Patrick, who has attempted to re-brand the bill as a “Women’s Privacy Act,” claims its purpose is to “stop sexual predators,” although no incidents of trans people committing crimes in bathrooms have been reported in Texas—or anywhere else. (A 2016 study did, however, indicate that 12% of trans people have been harassed, attacked or sexually assaulted in a public restroom.)
Another measure, HB 1362, would prohibit schools from allowing students of “more than one sex or gender” to use the same bathroom (though it doesn’t define either “sex” or “gender.” It would also prohibit cities and municipalities from enacting trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, like the ones currently in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. Republican state Rep. Matt Shaheen, filed the measure earlier this month, insisting cities don’t have the right “to tell people where to go to the bathroom.” (Ironically, he seems to be suggesting the state government does.)
And SB 242, introduced by Tea Party representative Konni Burton, would require school employees to notify parents if their children were gay, bisexual or trans—failure to do so would result in disciplinary action.
“We all have to stand up, even if we’re not from Texas, or LGBTQ—we all have to say that this isn’t OK with us,” Antonoff told Billboard. “And I hope the level of talent on this list opens people’s eyes, and particularly that local legislators will realize how important this is—to the people living in Texas and to the people coming in and bringing a lot of money to the economy.”
Others who are joining the Texas Together campaign include Jimmy Kimmel, Janelle Monáe, Laura Jane Grace, Carrie Brownstein, George Takei, Tegan and Sara, Amy Schumer, Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen, Connie Britton, Cyndi Lauper, Emma Stone, Sara Bareilles, Sting, Talib Kweli, Zosia Mamet, and Whoopie Goldberg.
Read the letter below.