Texas House approves anti-trans bathroom bill aimed at school kids

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The House advanced the measure Tuesday evening.

"This amendment is the bathroom bill and the bathroom bill is an attack on transgender people", added fellow Democratic Rep. Joe Moody. It also would require the state's attorney general to defend school districts that face legal challenges. Republican State Rep. Chris Paddie states that the amendment preserves the "privacy, dignity and safety" of Texas students.

Opponents called the bill discriminatory and unsafe for transgender youth.

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. He said, "That could be because you're transgender, that could be because you're shy". "Bathrooms divided us then, and they divide us now", she continued.

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. In February a measure that would have restricted all transgender people to use only public facilities consistent with their sex at birth sailed through the Texas Senate.

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The new version passed by the GOP-controlled Texas House doesn't expand the list of acceptable photo identifications - meaning gun licenses remain sufficient proof to vote, but not college student IDs. The Texas Association of Business also fought the bill, fearing the same kind of billion-dollar fallout that North Carolina suffered. That bill resulted in large economic losses for the state and has since been repealed. A transgender "bathroom bill" reminiscent of one in North Carolina that caused a national uproar now appears to be on a fast-track to becoming law in Texas - though it may only apply to public schools. This year, the Trump administration rescinded the guidance. "In fact, it makes sure there are reasonable accommodations for all children". If a student refuses to use the bathroom that doesn't match their gender identity, they can use a single-stall bathroom, according to the bill.

"If we must go to a special session, I will respectfully ask the governor to add both of these bills - plus other legislation he has voiced support for - in that special session call", Patrick said during a press conference at the Capitol. "For example, one agency in Dallas explicitly states that 'applicants must be heterosexual couples or single adults.' Another will only consider married couples who are Christian and attend church weekly, meaning Jewish, Muslim, or atheist prospective parents would be turned away".

"He would be very embarrassed and ashamed to be outed", said Smith, who plans to pull her child out of school if the measure is adopted.

LGBTQ Texans aren't the only ones who have something to lose if this bill becomes law.

The 1,200 school districts in Texas have taken a variety of approaches to accommodating transgender students. It lacked a bar on state-wide anti-discriminatory laws - save for those regarding the use of bathrooms - and included a carve-out for any private entities that rent, say, a stadium or arena, allowing them to enforce whatever regulations and policies regarding restrooms that it prefers.