'Houston 5' Pastors Group Calls on Texas to Revive Transgender Bathroom Bill

(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Drake)A sign protesting a recent North Carolina law restricting transgender bathroom access adorns the bathroom stalls at the 21C Museum Hotel in Durham, North Carolina May 3, 2016. The hotel installed the restroom signage designed by artist Peregrine Honig last month after North Carolina's "bathroom law" gained national attention, positioning the state at the center of a debate over equality, privacy and religious freedom.

The Texas Pastor Council has denounced the failure of the Texas legislature to pass a bill that would prohibit men who identify as women from entering women's restrooms.

Commonly known as the "bathroom bill," the Texas House of Representatives failed to pass the legislation when concluding their special session on Wednesday.

In an emailed statement shared with The Christian Post, Pastor Council President the Rev. Dave Welch gave the House a "D minus" grade, and asserted that by failing to pass Senate Bill 6 they were "putting dollars over daughters."

(Photo: REUTERS/Jon Herskovitz)Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, U.S., June 6, 2017.

"Most importantly, we will never waver from the fundamental truth that this 'One Nation Under God' can only exist and expect any social and economic stability if we respect and follow the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" upon which our laws are dependent," Welch added.

"These radical local ordinances and school policies that declare that the sex and gender distinction of male and female is extinct are sowing chaos we cannot allow to continue."

The Pastor Council went on to urge Gov. Greg Abbott to call a second special session this summer in order to pass the bathroom bill.

Welch was one of five Houston-area pastors who in 2014 was subpoenaed by the Houston city government to hand over all of their sermons and emails on LGBT issues by then Mayor Annise Parker.

Eventually, Houston backed off on the subpoenas after receiving outrage from both liberals and conservatives who believed the demands to be of questionable legality.

Introduced in January, Texas' SB 6 stated that in public buildings people must use the restrooms of their biological sex rather than chosen gender identity.

"A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall adopt a policy requiring each multiple-occupancy bathroom or changing facility accessible to students that is located in a school or school facility to be designated for and used only by persons based on the person's biological sex," read the bill, in part.

"A political subdivision or state agency with control over multiple-occupancy bathrooms or changing facilities in a building owned or leased by this state or the political subdivision, as applicable, shall develop a policy requiring each multiple-occupancy bathroom or changing facility located in the building to be designated for and used only by persons of the same biological sex."

While the bill provided exemptions for "special circumstances" and private businesses, it was criticized by LGBT groups, businesses, and some police officials as being transphobic.

"Transgender students, like transgender adults, don't want to cause any problems," said Chuck Smith, president of Equality Texas in a statement from earlier this year.

"They simply want to use the bathroom when the need arises. This bill threatens our children and risks the same economic backlash that has cost North Carolina jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars."

Earlier this month, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a speech that the bathroom bill "does not discriminate against anyone."

"It's simply common sense, common decency and public safety to protect the women of the state of Texas," Patrick said.

"Adult women don't want men following them into the ladies room, nor do they want their little girls or their granddaughters being followed into a bathroom by a man."

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