Texas takes step toward enacting its own 'bathroom' law

Opponents called the bill discriminatory and risky for transgender youth.

According to KXAN, the bill that passed the house removed language from the original version, restricting its applicability to public schools.

And lawmakers weren't done.

Gov. Greg Abbott, who was largely silent on the issue throughout the legislative session, recently endorsed the bathroom legislation as a priority, but his office has insisted that he believes the legislation could be passed during the regular legislative session.

Paddie said he didn't speak to the Governor, Lt. Governor or Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), the author of Senate Bill 6, which is known as the bathroom bill when writing his amendment.

House Speaker Joe Straus, who called the Senate bill "manufactured and unnecessary", said Sunday's scaled back measure was enough to address the issue this session and would help sidestep the need for a special session. It won praise from Abbott, who called it "thoughtful" in his first public comments on a bathroom-related proposal.

"Fresh off its passage of the most anti-immigrant legislation in the nation, the Texas legislature this weekend turned its attention to targeting women and children", said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. State lawmakers this year repealed that bill, replacing it with a less restrictive measure.

The Texas Freedom Network is a group of community leaders who support religious freedom and individual liberties.

Pharmacists refuse to fill birth control and hormone therapy prescriptions.

Earlier in the session Abbott had insisted the legislature pass bathroom legislation.

"Transgender youth deserve the same dignity and respect as their peers, and this craven attempt to use children as a pawn for cheap political points is disturbing and unconscionable", said JoDee Winterhof, a senior vice president at the Human Rights Campaign. "In fact it makes sure there are reasonable accommodations for all children".

Texas is looking to pass a transgender bathroom bill similar to North Carolina's controversial law.

Supporters of the bill state that limiting the bill to just schools is a "middle ground" and will soften numerous boycotts that North Carolina faced following a similar bill.

By focusing on schools, Texas is hoping to avoid boycotts that hurt North Carolina.

"No amount of discrimination is acceptable", Equality Texas said in a statement Sunday night.

Other amended bills have already succeeded.

Instead, House lawmakers tacked on the bathroom provisions to SB 2078, a bill meant to outline certain school safety requirements and standards.

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.

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.

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