The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and nonprofit Legacy Community Health have released a digital video to highlight the discriminatory nature of the Texas "Bathroom Bill" (Senate Bill 6), which aims to prohibit transgender people from using the restroom they choose.
The 60-second spot, entitled "Taking a Seat, Making a Stand," was created by GSD&M and five-time Academy Award-nominated director Richard Linklater. Through targeted digital Facebook buys, the humorous video will try to encourage Texans to reach out to their state legislators to oppose S.B. 6. The campaign behind this effort is called "I Pee With LGBT" and the hashtags include #IPEEWITHLGBT and #StopSB6.
To bring humor to the situation, the spot shows a number of people – some in bathrooms – discussing how there's only one way to stop the bill, "You've got to take a seat to make a stand."
One man wearing a cowboy hat says in the commercial, "Because passing this bill discriminates against family and friends," followed by him saying, "And because we damn sure ain't going to end up like North Carolina."
The dig to North Carolina refers to the fact that the state saw a $1 billion economic loss as a result of its own bathroom bill.
The Texas Association of Business has been vocal in its opposition of the bill, saying it will fight any legislation that will have an "adverse economic impact on the state's economy," according to Fox 7 Austin News.
"Discriminatory legislation is not what this country is about," said Duff Stewart, CEO of Austin, Texas-based GSD&M. "We need to speak up when we can."
GSD&M has been no stranger to getting involved in political and civil rights issues, having joined the group Texas Competes two years ago, which aims to push against discriminatory measures and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Mr. Stewart said the shop jumped on board, on a pro-bono basis, for the "I Pee With LGBT" effort because the bill "will hurt Texas and keep Texas from landing businesses and it's hateful."
The 60-second spot, which will also be sliced into four 15-second videos, was shot in GSD&M's office and bathrooms. GSD&M also developed the www.ipeewithlgbt.org website, which allows users to donate money or buy branded "I Pee With LGBT" merchandise, such as T-shirts, tote bags and stickers, with proceeds going to the ACLU of Texas.
"Our goal is to make Texans aware of this bill to encourage people voice opposition of it," said Mr. Stewart. "We hope that the campaign gets legs of its own and we want people to speak up about it and share with friends and family."
Senate Bill 6 was referred to Senate State Affairs at the end of January, but a hearing date for the bill has not yet been set.