With a little more than 100 days left in the 85th legislative session, the ever-familiar divisiveness that rears its head in partisan politics has found a rather comfortable home with Senate Bill 6. This bill, also known as the “bathroom bill,” and spearheaded by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, forces transgender men and women to use the bathrooms of the gender on their birth certificates.

As dean of the San Antonio delegation, I want to advise both the city and the state of Texas on the dangers this bill imposes.

The issue first arose with the passage of a similar bill in North Carolina. Forbes reported that its passage cost that state $630 million. North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” resulted in both the NCAA and NBA pulling games from the state, and San Antonio risks losing the 2018 NCAA Final Four if we allow this bill to pass.

According to the New York Times, the passage of this bill would result in an almost immediate loss of $234 million to the city of San Antonio alone, due to the pullout by the NCAA.

I don’t feel this legislation should be proposed at any level of government, but I believe it is hypocritical that certain elected officials in Texas in favor of local control are trying to take the option away from municipal governments. Even Republicans are split on the issue; they see the looming effects on the economy, and would rather discuss ways to improve our state instead of damaging it.

This bill, if passed, would implement a loss of fiscal control from the local level and threatens cities where major national and international activity flourishes.

Besides the negative economic effects on local businesses, this bill attempts to address a nonissue. Statistics from a North Carolina child advocacy center, Pat’s Place, show that in 2015 it interviewed 536 victims of bathroom assault; of them only 2 percent (11 cases) involved strangers. Over the last two years, at least 850 children were interviewed, and none of their bathroom assaults were committed by transgender people, according to NBC’s Charlotte station.

There was an almost instantaneous backlash as many major corporations such as American Airlines, PayPal, Pepsi and Google immediately refused any support for North Carolina’s House Bill 2.

The tourism economy in Texas is one of the reasons that this state has the 10th largest economy in the world. The implementation of this bill will have detrimental effects on the strength of our economy.

Additionally, Senate Bill 6 is challenging to enforce and impractical to monitor. There is inherent danger in expecting citizens to watch other citizens in the bathroom and make judgments based on their appearance.

Morally, this bill is not in tune with American values. House Speaker Joe Straus articulated it well at the start of the legislative session when he said, “We want to continue (our economic) success, and we want Texas to keep attracting the best and the brightest. One way to maintain our edge is to send the right signals about who we are.”

This bill will create unnecessary harm to our state without solving any of the issues that are actually crucial to our districts.

It is necessary to expose the financial calamity this bill will cause and to ensure that local businesses and the tourism industry are not detrimentally affected by simplistic partisan ideals that often impede the legislative process.

If you want to join me in the fight against this destructive bill, you need to vocalize opposition. Please contact Gov. Greg Abbott’s office at 512-463-2000 and Lt. Gov. Patrick’s office at 512-463-0001.

Reach out to any other elected official to make your voice heard.

State Rep. Rolando Gutierrez represents San Antonio’s District 119.

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