The Texas Senate, spurred by the case of a Houston woman ticketed for using the men's room at a crowded concert, adopted a "potty parity" bill designed to relieve long lines at women's public restrooms.
The bill passed Wednesday would require large sports and entertainment facilities built or renovated after 1991 to have twice as many women's restrooms as men's restrooms.The measure will be sent to the state House for a vote. If approved there, it will go to the governor.
The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, said the issue was "crystalized" by the case of Denise Wells, who was ticketed and ejected from a George Strait concert at Houston's Summit arena last year after using the men's restroom.
She said she went into the men's room after twice waiting in long lines outside the women's room, and then watching a man take his girlfriend into the men's facility.
Wells, who paid $125 to attend the concert, was acquitted last November of charges she violated a city ordinance against using a bathroom for the opposite sex in a disruptive manner. Some testimony in the case - dubbed "Pottygate" by the Houston media - focused on the number of bathroom stalls and urinals in the Summit restrooms.
Barrientos said long lines at women's restrooms occur "with all too frequent regularity," and he urged the Senate to recognize it as a "real equity issue."