With Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton facing federal and state felony indictments for securities fraud, you might have thought that he wasn’t taking his job as the state’s chief law enforcer very seriously. You would be wrong. In fact, Ken Paxton takes his job so seriously that he’s committed to protecting Texans from threats that don’t even exist, namely, trans bathroom panic.
This week, Paxton released an exclusive letter to Fox News threatening Target over their policy to let people use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. The text of the letter is below (click here for the PDF version):
On April 19, Target announced that it would “welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
Target, of course, is currently free to choose such a policy for its Texas stores. The voters in Houston recently repealed by a wide margin an ordinance that advanced many of the same goals as Target’s current policy.
The Texas Legislature may at some point in the future address the issue. Regardless of whether Texas legislates on this topic, it is possible that allowing men in women’s restrooms could lead to criminal and otherwise unwanted activity. As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes.
Texans, if you were afraid that your Attorney General didn’t have his priorities straight, never fear — he’s devoting state resources to what’s clearly the most pressing and important problem facing our state today. He may be indicted, but that’s not stopping him from fighting back against those hotbeds of crime known as Target bathrooms.
Paxton is even using his office to tell members of the Texas Lege to prioritize their own bathroom bill in the upcoming session. Never mind that the Department of Justice recently declared that the North Carolina bathroom bill violated the Civil Rights Act, and could jeopardize billions of dollars in federal funding for the state. Ken “The Enforcer” Paxton doesn’t care what the Feds say, after all, how do you think he got those federal indictments in the first place?
Paxton’s not the only one who would support Texas implementing its own bathroom bill. Dan Patrick also expressed a desire for the Lege to pursue a similar bill, because he will not rest until every single minority group feels unwelcome in our state. Having a Texas bathroom bill that violated the Civil Rights Act and jeopardized federal education funding would just be icing on the cake for Patrick — we all know how he feels about giving money to schools.
With Donald Trump clinching the GOP nomination this week, the entire world has felt a bit unpredictable. But at least we can thank Ken Paxton and Dan Patrick for reminding us that Texas elected officials with misplaced priorities and a side of bigotry are something we can always count on.