Celebrities Write Letter to Oppose Texas Anti-LGBT Bills

February 15th 2017

Almie Rose

Texas is looking to pass two bills — Texas Senate Bill 6 (SB 6) and Texas House Bill 1362 (HB 1362) that target the transgender community — and over 140 musicians, artists, and actors have joined together in an effort to block the proposed legislation.

Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lawrence and Arianna Grande are just some of the celebrities who are part of a group known as The Creative Community Against Anti-LGBTQ Legislation in Texas aka "TXTogether," who teamed up with Equality Texas, GLAAD, and The Ally Coalition to speak out against the bills, which primarily focus on restricting transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that correlate with their gender identities.

open letter to Texas lawmakers

These public figures signed a letter which stated that the bills "would criminalize and restrict the simple act of a transgender person using the restroom that aligns with their gender identity — a denial of basic human dignity."

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R-Texas) issued a statement on Jan. 5 in support of SB 6, proclaiming:

"The people of Texas elected us to stand up for common decency, common sense and public safety. This legislation codifies what has been common practice in Texas and everywhere else forever — that men and women should use separate, designated bathrooms. [...] SB 6 also ensures that businesses have the freedom to determine their own bathroom policies and that no public school can institute a bathroom policy that allows boys to go in girls restrooms, showers and locker rooms and girls to go in boys restrooms, showers and locker rooms."


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Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Texas) voiced his support for HB 1362, which according to The Texas Tribune, "also says public schools cannot adopt policies that allow 'more than one sex or gender' to use the same 'multi-occupancy private spaces.'" However, Shaheen maintains that HB 1362 is more than just a typical bathroom bill, saying to the Texas Tribune, “There’s no way a serious person could call this bill discriminatory."

"Bills like these are a poison, a barrier between Texas and its future."

In the letter, the Creative Community write they "are amazed by the state's culture and community" but "we are also deeply troubled by the current legislation that would target the LGBTQ community in Texas."

They went on to write:

"[...] Bills like these are poison, a barrier between Texas and its future.

Transgender and gender non-conforming young people are already subjected to bullying and harassment. Can you imagine the message these bills send to children – the message of ‘that child is different, that child is dangerous’? Transgender and gender non-conforming young people also already face higher rates of family rejection and homelessness, mental health issues and suicidality, and they already find it more difficult to find work and housing. How much more can you punish them for living honestly and openly?"

Laverne Cox, who also signed the letter, recently made headlines when she urged Grammy viewers to "Google 'Gavin Grimm.'" Grimm is a transgender teen who is taking his case against his school to the U.S. Supreme Court on the basis of gender discrimination for denying him the right to use the boy's bathroom.

If you'd like to support TXTogether, the website features a form where you can copy the letter and have it emailed directly to Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.