When Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick introduced Senate Bill 6 on Thursday, he called it a “line in the sand” by which Texas would block transgender people from using public restrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms or shower rooms according to their gender identity rather than their “biological sex.”
A similar law in North Carolina was blamed for the loss of millions of dollars in revenue from canceled sporting events, concerts and business expansions.
The Texas Association of Business and other groups have already lined up to fight SB6. Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Joe Straus have been lukewarm about it.
Patrick took one step to soften the bill’s impact, but it will be of no help to Fort Worth if SB6 is passed, becomes law and brings a North Carolina-style backlash.
Public facilities that are operated by private entities would not face the SB6 restroom use restrictions.
But that exception would not apply to the city-owned and city-operated Fort Worth Convention Center.
Robert Jameson, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, has said meeting planners cite the North Carolina restrictions and will not book large conventions at places where they believe that transgender clients would feel uncomfortable.
Convention and tourism business brings $1.9 billion a year and 19,350 jobs to Fort Worth, Jameson said.