During a recent panel discussion hosted by the Texas Tribune on 7th February, Texas Republican state representative Briscoe Cain made comments that reduced violence against transgender people as ‘dudes walking around in dresses getting beat up’.
Briscoe Cain’s main backer accused by the Texas Ethics Commission of lobbying illegally.
Cain made the comments when asked by moderator Evan Smith to defend Senate Bill 6, one of a number of new anti-transgender bills that target bathroom use currently proposed in state legislator. The bill, if passed, would require people to use the restrooms that match the gender assigned to them on their birth certificate rather than the gender they live as, similar to the North Carolina HB2 bill.
‘We shouldn’t be penalising [people who discriminate],’ Cain responded, ‘it wasn’t a problem when I was a child. Was it a problem when you were a kid? I don’t remember dudes walking around in dresses getting beat up. It wasn’t a thing, and now I think we’re encouraging it.’
Cain went on to cite the bill as being about private businesses being ‘forced to make accommodations for people who want to use bathrooms that have nothing to do with them’. He went on to add; ‘Men need to use men’s restrooms’.
He explained that he and other Republicans were ’emboldened’ to pursue Senate Bill 6 after the defeat of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which would have provided protection for LGBT+ people from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
‘That’s when we really began to be emboldened. We realised that it wasn’t just a political thing. That parents, grandparents, everybody’s concerned about men and women’s bathrooms, shower rooms and locker rooms.’
The entire discussion can be viewed in the video below, with the comments regarding Senate Bill 6 beginning around 27 minute mark.