Texas pastors issue 'Toilet Seat Awards' to senators who voted against 'bathroom bill'

Texas pastors who support the Texas Privacy Act appear in a screen capture of a video from the YouTube channel of Texas Pastors. | YouTube/Texas Pastors

Pastors from Texas have issued "Toilet Seat Awards" to the senators who voted against the Texas Privacy Act or SB6, which would require individuals to use bathrooms in public buildings matching the sex on their birth certificates.

The legislation was passed by the Texas Senate earlier this month by a vote of 21–10. but it is facing an uphill battle in the House.

In a video published on Monday, a group of pastors known as the "Houston Five," accompanied by other pastors from across the Greater Houston area, unveiled the "Toilet Seat Awards" for each of the 10 state senators who voted against the controversial bill.

"It is disgusting and offensive to women that one-third of the Texas state senate would vote no on SB 6 in providing protection for women and our daughters in our most private settings," said Becky Riggle of Grace Church during the presentation of the awards.

House Speaker Joe Straus, who also earned a "Toilet Seat Award," has publicly expressed his opposition to the bill, claiming that it would be bad for business.

Pastor Hernan Castaño of Houston's Iglesia Rios De Aciete dismissed his claim of economic backlash.

"We say shame on any business in Texas that would place the value of a few dollars over the protection of our women and girls," said Castaño, as reported by The Stream.

He also urged business owners in Texas "who believes in protecting women and girls" to cut ties with the Texas Association of Business, which opposed the legislation.

Castaño also pointed to the boycott Target over its bathroom policy. "The significant decline in Target stores' revenue and the sharp drop in their stock says how consumers really feel about this," he said.

The pastors also warned Representatives who do not support SB6 that there may be an award waiting for them as well. Riggle also cautioned the legislators against amending the bill "until it has no meaning."

The "Houston Five" gained national attention after former Houston Mayor Annise Parker subpoenaed their sermons in the course of their opposition to an ordinance that would have allowed biological males into the city's public and private showers, locker rooms and restrooms for females. Houston voters were only allowed to vote on the ordinance in 2015 after the pastors took the former mayor to court. The ordinance was defeated by a percentage of 61–39.