It’s A First, And In Texas To Boot: Pro Sports Team Opposes Bathroom Bill

Texas’ professional NHL team, the Dallas Stars, issued a public statement on Wednesday in opposition to some proposed anti-LGBTQ legislation in the state, and that could be big news for the Lone Star State, perhaps like it was when North Carolina tried to do the same thing. The CEO of the Stars said in the statement:

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The Dallas Stars stands strongly opposed to any legislation perceived as discriminatory, including proposed bathroom legislation. We welcome fans from all over the globe, and our roster boasts players from half a dozen countries. Dallas welcomes all, and we welcome all.”

When Republican Governor Pat McCrory signed North Carolina’s disgusting and discriminatory HB2, also known as the “bathroom bill,” in March 2016, he had no idea the backlash it would get. Not only was there a national outcry from LGBTQ groups, the ACLU, and generally every organization concerned with civil rights, but an organization that has been very important to the state — the NCAA — boycotted the bill themselves. The NCAA brought millions in revenue into the state through neutral-venue championship games located there, but the bill sparked a ban from the collegiate athletics organization.

HB2 was repealed, but not because the Republicans there had a change of heart. The $70 million+ they earned on a variety of sports was definitely a bigger motivator than equal rights, and with the NCAA choosing sites for an upcoming national basketball championship, legislators could not stomach losing that money as well.

Texas, however, hasn’t learned the lesson that North Carolina should have taught them. Or maybe Texas thinks it won’t happen to them. Either way, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is pretty set on signing a bathroom bill of his own. The Texas legislation would, like North Carolina’s now-repealed bill, restrict bathroom usage to the sex listed on a would-be pottier’s birth certificate. They didn’t really have a good outline as to how they would be verifying sex before admitting bathroom-goers, but that didn’t stop Abbott from convening a special session of the Texas legislature to try and pass the bill again.

Public support for the Texas law has been sinking, and that’s been reflected in the Texas House: According to WFAA-TV, an ABC affiliate in Dallas, during the regular session, more than half of the representatives supported the bill. But with less than two weeks left in the special session, support is down to just under a third.

Now that the Dallas Stars are set to host the upcoming NHL Draft, perhaps that support will dwindle even further.

Featured image via Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

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