A committee in the Texas State Senate has passed a bill that restricts the rights of transgender people to access public bathrooms that they identify with.

The bill, which rules that people should use the bathrooms that match their gender at birth rather than the gender they identify as, is similar to the House Bill 2 passed in North Carolina last year.

It is now set to go to the Senate, where it is expected to be approved.

Announcing the bill, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, said: "The people of Texas elected us to stand up for common decency, common sense and public safety."

Patrick argued that the bill simply "codifies what has been common practice in Texas and everywhere else forever – that men and women should use separate, designated bathrooms".

He told Reuters: "North Carolina was the tip of the spear. We will be next to pass a bill that focuses on privacy, a person's privacy, and public safety."

More than 250 people addressed the committee as it reached its decision – with the majority of people reportedly speaking against the bill.

One such testimony was given by Chelsa Morrison and her eight-year-old transgender daughter, who spoke of their experiences and why they did not want to see such a bathroom ban enacted.

Speaking to the committee, eight-year-old Marilyn Morrison said: "Trans people are real. You are looking at one right now. This bill is horrifying to me and all of my transgender friends."

She also added that it would be embarrassing for her to be forced to use the boys' bathroom at her school, explaining: "All we got to do is tinkle and get out. That's all."

In addition, almost 70 businesses have registered their objection to the bill, stating they believed it would "legalise discrimination".

There are also fears such a ban would result in boycotts of Texas businesses, as was the case when a similar bill was introduced in North Carolina.