Texas lawmakers advance anti-LGBT adoption, bathroom bills

Some lawmakers initially anxious that "bathroom bill" legislation would draw boycotts similar to the ones that have cost North Carolina billions, but they're more comfortable with an amendment strictly focused on schools.

House lawmakers, including Straus, have argued the amendment to the emergency response bill is a compromise, as it only focuses on bathroom use in schools and provides an alternative to transgender children. The bill will pass through to the Senate after House approval. If it passes, Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign it. The state hopes to avoid the public image disaster that threatened to cost North Carolina some $3.7 billion over 12 years, according to an estimate by the Associated Press.

With a crucial court hearing just weeks away, the Texas House is taking up a measure aimed at addressing concerns about the voter ID law that legislators passed in 2011.

The version the Senate approved after midnight increases classroom funding by only about $500 million, scraps the $210 per-student increase and adds a plan offering taxpayer funds that would go into education savings accounts that some special education students could use to attend private schools.

"Now it's really time for the Senate to take care of the many House priorities that they know they've been sitting on", Straus said to Patrick's statement. The National Football League is one such entity that spoke out against Senate Bill 6, despite the bill having no impact on stadiums or private businesses.

"This amendment was more about using trans kids as a negotiating tool at a contentious point in the session than about making kids safer", Rep. Celia Israel, a leader in opposing the bill said.

But Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said "there can be no compromise on discrimination". "This is not about a class of children or transgender children", Paddie said, adding that the language prevents a school from disclosing intimate details about a student.

The bill, which cleared a key procedural hurdle in the state House on Sunday, would bar transgender students from bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, unless other children are not present. "In terms of privacy, I had not seen the language on the "Paddie Amendment" on Senate Bill 2078 before it was voted on last night". It also prepares for a face-off with the federal government over the issue, writing that the attorney general will defend any school that wishes to fight a constitutional challenge over this issue.

"It's absolutely about child safety".

Democratic state Representative Senfronia Thompson noted this issue, drawing comparisons between the bill and Jim Crow-era laws enforcing segregation between races.

On Monday, Abbott continued his defense of the bill, releasing a list of almost two dozen police chiefs and law enforcement officials along the Texas-Mexico border signing onto a weekend editorial from Abbott in support of the law.

  • Larry Hoffman