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March 30, 2017      4:35 PM

Villalba: Respectfully, Dan Patrick is just wrong on bathrooms

Dallas Republican argues that it is “precisely because of my conservative principles that I will NEVER accept discrimination, hatred, or bigotry”

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.

The full guest column by Rep. Jason Villalba is in the R&D Department.

By Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas

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