Lt. Governor Dan Patrick
Dear Mr. Patrick,
I am a woman who was in a compromising situation recently. I really really needed to go, and the women’s bathroom was locked so I used the men’s restroom instead. Would your proposal for a “bathroom bill” here in Texas require me to be arrested?
I find it strange that you and too many other Texas lawmakers are fixated on this issue. When I went into the men’s restroom, I knocked first, went in to use a stall and closed the door behind me. There was plenty of privacy; I didn’t threaten anyone and I didn’t feel threatened. I just did my business, washed my hands and went on my way. Isn’t this what most Texans do? Why on earth has using the bathroom become a political issue?
Requiring folks to use the gendered bathroom in line with their birth certificate is bizarre in so many ways.
Who is going to be there to check birth certificates? What do you propose they should do about me, pressured and stymied by a locked door? What about all the non-Texans who know very well this is a non-issue but come here to find themselves accosted by bathroom police? Will our businesses suffer? (Besides I thought Republicans liked business! Why aren’t you respecting their voices in this debate?) What about the numerous law enforcement officials who have come out against this bill? (I thought Republicans like law and order!)
Your effort to police our bathrooms failed in the regular session and now you and Gov. Abbott are forcing this issue down our Texas throats once again in a special session. There are definitely some issues our legislators need to deal with in Texas; which bathroom a law-abiding person uses is not even on the list of real issues.
I have to Wonder if your Christian values are truly Christian
I assume you must be proud of your highly touted Operation One Million Voices campaign. I suppose you think this is in line with “Christian” values: preserving purity and all that.
But as a Christian minister, I believe this effort of yours is wrong headed, unkind and unchristian.
I get that you don’t understand the experience of transgendered people, but just because you are Lt. Governor doesn’t mean you get to name their experience for them.
In fact, your legal, moral, ethical and Christian obligation is to protect these misunderstood people from those who would persecute and harm them.
They are the fragile ones in this scenario; not you.
Kimberly Shappley’s Christianity Shows Us Grace
Have you met Kai Shappley or heard her story? She is a kindergartener, a beautiful little girl, one of God’s precious children. Her mom, Kimberly, is a very conservative Republican and a pious Christian. Even so, Kai has taught her mom – and many more of us – that some life experiences do not fit into our cookie cutter expectations. When that happens, our Christianity calls us to offer grace. When that happens, our humanity demands that we live in love.
Remember these core Christian values?
Love others as you love yourself?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?
Surely you learned this in Sunday School. Have you forgotten such deep and obvious truth?
Mr. Patrick, please leave these poor people alone. They have enough to deal with already.
Please return to authentic Conservative values and allow people to live their lives without government interference.
You too have enough to deal with. Please get back to governing and stop using governmental powers to persecute some of our most vulnerable citizens. Texas has plenty of other issues you need to be working on. With all due respect, get to it.
Rev. Charlotte Vaughan Coyle
Charlotte Vaughan Coyle lives in Paris TX and blogs about intersections of faith, culture and politics on her website and Intersections Facebook page. She is national secretary for Coffee Party USA and contributes regularly to the Join the Coffee Party Movement Facebook page.