Texas House passes ban on transgender bathrooms in schools

Texas House passes ban on transgender bathrooms in schools

A more sweeping measure, nearly identical to North Carolina's transgender bathroom bill, which would have prevented Texas residents from using bathrooms that comported with their gender identity rather than their biological sex, stalled out in the Texas Senate.

Texas lawmakers call it a push for conservative values.

"The second that gavel dropped, I just burst into tears", said Gonzalez, getting choked up again as she recalled traveling to Austin to speak out against the bathroom bills.

SENFRONIA THOMPSON: I happened to have been a member of this society during the period of time in history of this state and in this country where we had separate but equal.

Texas lawmakers have passed two measures that will allow discrimination against LGBTQ people: a "conscience clause" bill relating to adoption, and an amendment that restricts transgender students' access to public restrooms.

Texas lawmakers have revived a more narrowly focused version of a transgender "bathroom bill" like the one in North Carolina that sparked a national backlash, but the Texas law would apply only to public schools and not all bathrooms.

Elder lobbied against the so-called "bathroom bill" when it was in the Senate. The Texas Association of Business also fought the bill, fearing the same kind of billion-dollar fallout that North Carolina suffered.

The House gave its final approval Monday to an amended bill that includes a transgender bathroom provision. For students who wish to opt out of using their designated bathrooms, a private single occupancy bathroom will serve as an alternative. Democrats and other child advocates, however, argue that will only increase school bullying and discrimination.

But House Speaker Joe Straus proclaimed victory, saying the compromise threaded the needle - limited enough to avoid economic boycotts but strong enough to divert Gov. Greg Abbott's threat to call a special session on the transgender bathroom issue if the House failed to act. 'Some people don't want to admit that. Under the amendment, students are required to use restroom and changing facilities consistent with their biological sex at birth.

"I think it's absolutely about child safety", Paddie said. The bill would also require public schools to provide single-stall bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms to accommodate transgender students.

On a 91-50 vote, the House voted to add the bathroom amendment to a bill on schools' emergency response plans in cases of natural disaster, active shooters, or other "dangerous scenarios", reports The Texas Tribune.

The Texas measure is similar to "religious freedom" adoption laws in Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota, Virginia and Alabama. The bill passed over vehement objections from business and civil rights groups. An honor-roll student who loves science and spelling, he often stays after class to run on the playground with his large group of friends.

Patrick, who had threatened to do what he could to force a special session if transgender bathroom prohibitions were not passed into law, declared himself unimpressed with the House effort. In fact, it makes sure that there are reasonable accommodations for all children.

The Texas House already approved HB3859 by a 93-49 vote earlier this month.

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