What Does The Bathroom Bill In Texas Mean For Lady Gaga At The Super Bowl?

Photo: Francois Mori/AP Images.
While North Carolina's controversial bathroom bill is still stirring up controversy, Texas is moving to enact a version of the legislation. According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas' potential new law would force "transgender Texans to use public bathrooms that correspond with their sex assigned at birth." What's more, Houston's anti-discrimination ordinance, better known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) ordinance, was repealed in November of 2015. The question this raises is: How will these laws affect Lady Gaga's scheduled Super Bowl performance in Houston? Gaga, who is an outspoken LGBTQ advocate, has not said whether or not she will cancel her appearance (and she's not expected to). Texas Republicans have made Senate Bill 6 a priority. Written by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, the bill would "mean cities couldn't pass local ordinances that require private business to have specific rules for bathrooms or changing rooms."
Until now, cities have had the right to create laws in regards to who could use each bathroom and locker room, but SB6 would give businesses the power to restrict access. Currently, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio have their own individual laws. In Houston, the HERO ordinance wasn't specifically written to address bathroom access, but as Vox notes, "Critics of the Houston law propagated a myth that the statute would allow men to pose as trans women so they could go into women’s bathrooms and sexually assault women. There are no such cases of this happening in U.S. jurisdictions with nondiscrimination laws for LGBTQ people." That fear has caused many in Texas and throughout the country to push bills like North Carolina's HB-2 and Texas' SB6. While we wait for Texas lawmakers to come to a decision, the NFL and Gaga are hoping to bring more attention to Super Bowl LI, which is scheduled for February 5. Gaga's Born This Way Foundation is encouraging Kickoff for Kindness Super Bowl watch parties. Those who want to get involved are asked to perform acts of kindness and share them on social media — five winners will be chosen to receive tickets to future Gaga shows. Gaga hasn't issued any statements about Texas' bathroom bills but has voiced her hope that the performance will bring people together. "I want every guy’s girlfriend in his arm...I want every husband and wife kissing....every kid laughing,” Gaga told People. "In my mind, they’re having this really powerful family experience watching the Super Bowl."

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