Despite the tremendous economic repercussions of North Carolina’s transphobic “bathroom bill,” Texas is doing its best to push a version of that legislation forward.
ABC News reports that while efforts to push similar bills in states like Kansas and Arkansas have petered out, Texas is forging full steam ahead in its quest to become only the second state in the country that seeks to police the bathroom habits of transgender individuals. There are only five days left in 2017's legislative session before lawmakers adjourn until 2019, the Dallas News reports, and the war to get the thing passed is playing out not across party lines but within the Republican party itself, as more conservative Republicans push for the bill’s passing while others worry about the possible negative outcomes the bill could have on business.
The GOP’s resolve to make this bill a reality could force a special session, but Republican governer Greg Abbott is optimistic that there’s enough time to see this thing through, stressing that the state must protect the “privacy, safety and security” of its students first and foremost. An earlier version of the bill passed over the weekend applied to public schools only that would require schools to provide one single stall restroom for transgender students was rejected in the state Senate — a slight improvement from a more restrictive version that would have required all transgender students to use the bathrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.
Governor Abbott has doubled down on his intentions to pass some version of this thing, saying “We want to do all we can to help women have privacy, safety and security to the fullest extent possible.”
Human Rights Campaign spokesman Nick Morrow echoed the sentiments of many LGBT activists who are rightfully frustrated and disheartened with the government’s continued attempt to restrict the rights of transgender individuals for no good reason: “As these far-right extremists in the Legislature continue to put politics before people and threaten a special session simply to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans, we have to ask: How much discrimination will be enough?”