Bathroom Bill Fails in Dallas Suburb

     DALLAS (CN) – The first proposed “bathroom bill” ordinance in Texas, requiring people to use bathrooms for their gender at birth, failed to pass in a wealthy Dallas suburb Monday night.
     None of the five members of the Rockwall City Council seconded Republican Mayor Jim Pruitt’s motion for a vote, killing the proposal.
     Pruitt moved for the vote after more than two hours of discussion before a capacity crowd at City Hall. Pruitt said he was motivated to propose the measure after Target announced it would allow customers to use the bathroom of their choice.
     Several dozen ordinance opponents protested before the meeting, holding signs outside City Hall stating “Urine My Business,” “We Are All Peeple,” and “Don’t Make My Texas Into North Carolina.”
     Rockwall, pop. 40,000, is a northeast of Dallas.
     So-called “bathroom bills” targeting transsexual people have made headlines since North Carolina enacted law a law requiring people to use public bathrooms conforming to the gender listed on their birth certificates. Since then several businesses have canceled deals to set up shop in North Carolina, entertainers have canceled concerts in the state and business groups have threatened boycotts.
     Several Rockwall residents who supported the measure told the council the ordinance would not target transgender people, but is a security measure to protect women and children.
     But opponent James Montgomery, general manager of the Hilton on Lake Ray Hubbard, told the council the law would hurt the travel and tourism business.
     Republican Councilman David White blasted the measure, saying, “Government doesn’t need to dictate who pees where.” He called it a “property rights” issue that is up to property owners.
     “I believe in limited government and this is private property issue for stores. If someone doesn’t like the policy of a store, then don’t go to that store,” White told The New Civil Rights Movement before the meeting.
     “I also think enforcement would be next to impossible without requiring people to carry a special card or their birth certificate. But then again I’d also oppose police stopping people to verify possession of such identification. Laws already exist to prosecute for ‘peeping toms’ and assault and the other aggressions people are claiming not having this ordinance will lead to.”
     Ordinance opponent EqualityTexas said residents demanded the council produce data “that would demonstrate the existence” of a problem that needs solving.
     “And in the absence of such evidence, they voted ‘no’ on a policy that was not fully inclusive or fair-minded,” the group said in a statement. “Discrimination has no place, anywhere in Texas. Small-town Texas values were on fine display and Rockwall shows what Texas is really all about.”
     The median household income in Rockwall, which is 71 percent white, was $92,612 in 2013, about 79 percent higher than the statewide median of $51,704, according to city-data.com.

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