A Texas ‘bathroom bill’ that would have restricted access to restrooms and other school facilities by transgender people has failed to pass after a month-long special session of the Texas legislature came to a close. The bill was one of several contentious pieces of legislation that provoked Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to call the special session after the regular legislative session ended in May.
The following statement can be attributed to Nathan Smith, Director of Public Policy, GLSEN: “GLSEN and our allies are relieved to see anti-trans legislation fail once again inTexas, but this was not an easy fight. And it is far from over. While transgender youth remain at risk and the target of discrimination and bullying, the failure of this bill shows progress is being made and we must continue to educate not only elected officials, but everyone about the lives of transgender people. As students return to school in a couple weeks, many transgender youth will face a new school year with uncertainty and fear after the painful public debate about banning bathroom access. GLSEN will be there to support them, their schools, their families and their communities.
The death of the bill was applauded by tourism boards across the state who feared convention and tourism boycotts. Passing the bill “would have had a damaging and longstanding effect for Texas’ business landscape, including the important travel and tourism industry,” Casandra Matej, president and chief executive officer of Visit San Antonio, said in a statement. “That hospitality sector has existed and thrived on the enduring promise that the Lone Star State is an inclusive and diverse destination, and that discrimination in any form is not who we are as a state or a community.” [MySanAntonio]
While thankfully this bill is dead in the water, Texas legislatures passed discriminatory laws on other fronts including a voter suppression law, a law that targets undocumented immigrants, and two laws that further restrict a woman’s right to make personal medical decisions.