Dallas Republican argues that it is “precisely because of my conservative principles that I will NEVER accept discrimination, hatred, or bigotry” – Originally published by the Quorum Report, March 30, 2017
The clock begins its inexorable tick to closing time and Republican members of the Texas Legislature such as myself are left to contemplate that which will define the session and our political legacies. Most of us will hew to the safety of orthodox convention. Others will wait until they receive the acquiescence of those who brought them to the dance to make their moves.
Me? I came to Austin to move the needle, shape the conversation and to speak the truth.
Senate Bill 6, the so-called “bathroom bill,” is the most unserious attempt at galvanizing Republican primary voters in a generation.
It fails to solve a problem that doesn’t even exist.
Under current Texas law, it is already illegal to: (1) trespass upon the private space of a citizen; (2) “peep” upon a citizen during a private moment; (3) assault a citizen in a sexual or non-sexual manner; or even (4) engage a person in an unreciprocated manner. The chance that our children – in schools or otherwise – are somehow at risk of nefarious trans-gender Texans assaulting them in showers or restrooms is simply non-existent.
I have tremendous respect for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. He is a personal friend, a mentor, and one of the finest public servants that I have ever worked with in the state of Texas.
But I simply cannot support this legislation, which I believe is unnecessary and meant solely to placate LGBT-hating constituencies including Tim Dunn’s Empower Texans and Steve Hotze’s Conservative Republicans of Texas.
There is nothing conservative to me about foisting Steve Hotze’s sexual predilections on my children’s bathroom selection.
If Starbucks has taught us anything it’s that a good cup of coffee can cost less than $1.50 and that if I really need to pee, I can do so, without fear of sexual assault, in a room marked with a half-skirted icon.
Speaker Joe Straus, the only GOP leader bold enough to come out against SB6, is the thoughtful and sincere leader of the Texas House. So far, he’s been the only Republican Texan in elected office that has the fortitude to actually state his position on SB6. Shame on all others who are too timid to come out and call a spade a spade!
Many officeholders love to talk about how brave they are. But Straus is one of the few who has actually paid the toll.
I am ready to join him.
It is time that other Republican members of this august body stand strongly in support of opposing this asinine legislation and let the world know that ordinary Texans are not haters.
Texans understand that we are stronger because we are a diverse body of people who care for others, who accept differences, who understand that we are not all cut from the same cloth and most importantly, Texans always take care of other Texans.
I am a conservative Republican. And it is precisely because of my conservative principles that I will NEVER accept discrimination, hatred, or bigotry. I stand for Texas. I stand against SB6, I stand against bigotry and ugliness. God bless ALL Texans!
Rep. Jason Villalba represents House District 114 in Dallas County.