The Texas House of Representatives approved legislation Monday that would require transgender schoolchildren to use bathrooms that correspond to their "biological sex", putting the state on the verge of enacting a "bathroom bill" similar to one that drew controversy in North Carolina. But the Lone Star State's law would likely only apply to public schools, according to a report from ABC News.
The bill would require schools to provide an alternate single-occupancy accommodations for students uncomfortable with using bathrooms that don't align with their biological sex.
Conservative politicians in Texas have agitated strongly for the measure despite the backlash against such a law in North Carolina, which involved economic boycotts and attempts to repeal it after it was introduced past year. If transgender students did not want to use their assigned gender bathroom, they would have to use single-stall bathrooms under the provisions of this legislation.
All members of the East Texas delegation, Reps.
Flynn called it protection "from anyone trying to take advantage of the political correctness nonsense that is increasingly pushed upon the majority of Texans who share traditional values".
"There is absolutely no intent and I would argue nothing in this language discriminates against anyone", Paddie said.
" 'Let's be honest and clear here: This amendment is the bathroom bill, and the bathroom bill is an attack on transgender people, ' said state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso".
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.
"They failed to get the broad exclusion of transgender people from society they desired and settled for placing vulnerable trans children at heightened risk of bullying and psychological trauma", Herbst said. "This is about accommodating all kids". The bill passed over vehement objections from business and civil rights groups.
The Texas House gave final approval Monday morning to a bill banning transgender-friendly bathrooms in the state's public schools, turning down one final Democratic amendment that would have allowed schools to opt out of the law.
The bathroom bill is under criticism, with a group of women entering the men's restroom outside the House floor to protest the bill.
Republican Christ Paddie filed an amendment late Sunday to tack the bathroom restrictions onto SB 2078, a separate bill on emergency preparedness for schools. "Bathrooms divided us then and bathrooms divide us now ..."
Some 60 percent of transgender Americans say they have avoided using a public restroom out of fear of violence or confrontation, according to a survey published a year ago by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
How did the controversy start? Texas led a lawsuit challenging that directive and a federal judge in Texas ordered it suspended. That directive has since been rescinded by the Trump administration.
Advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, including the Human Rights Campaign, opposed the bill.
Top firms, chambers of commerce and lobbyists also have decried the bathroom bill in all forms as bad for business.