Why City Council members Jennifer Gates and Lee Kleinman both oppose controversial ‘bathroom bill’

Should people be required to use locker rooms and restrooms that align with their biological sex, even if they identify as transgender?

The question has plagued Texas legislators, LGBT rights advocates and local politicians  since Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick introduced the “bathroom bill” in January. (Since then, Rep. Ron Simmons filed a similar bill, which you can learn more about here.)

Elected officials and concerned citizens from across the state travelled to Austin and stayed awake late into the night to debate the legislation. One of them was Councilman Lee Kleinman.

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The Dallas Morning News reported that Kleinman told lawmakers, “The residents and businesses of Dallas believe discrimination in all forms have no home in our community. Please do not perpetuate this discrimination.”

Kleinman isn’t the only elected official from our neighborhood who publicly criticized the bill. In March, Councilwoman Jennifer Gates shared her thoughts about the issue with the Dallas Morning News.

“As a conservative woman, I am sick and tired of reading headlines about the failure to protect abused girls and young women in these supposedly safe environments,”  she wrote. “Every day there are girls and women who suffer as the victims of violent crime, and this victimization is not happening in public bathrooms. It is happening in places that should be safe, while the public and our elected leaders look the other way.

“Texas Senate Bill 6, the bathroom bill, does absolutely nothing to address public safety. We don’t need people co-opting the issue of violence and spreading misinformation and fear to advance their own agenda. That sets back our work, and it is offensive to the women and families dealing with this very real and very dangerous issue on a daily basis.”

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