Bathroom Bans Beaten Once Again in Texas
Hundreds of thousands of transgender Texans can breathe a sigh of relief tonight as their legislature’s month-long special session comes to a close without lawmakers passing a “bathroom ban” law. Restricting transgender people’s access to restrooms was one of a few hot-button issues that led Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to push for a special session after the regular legislative session ended in May.
Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, made the following statement:
Anti-transgender legislation has failed yet again. It is now clearer than ever: nobody but a handful of extremists wants laws that discriminate—in Texas or in any state. These laws aren’t only harmful to transgender people. They’re also harmful to the state at large, because businesses, sports teams, and major associations don’t want to be involved with state-sanctioned discrimination. Extremists in other states have been watching Texas to see how this would play out. It should be fully obvious by now that transgender people will not stand for being pawns in extremist political games. We hope that politicians in Texas and around the country will move on from trying to scapegoat us for their own gain.
That said, we recognize that these extremists may not learn from their failures. We remain vigilant and ready to keep fighting with our partners at groups like Equality Texas and the Transgender Education Network of Texas, as our community organizer Kory Masen has done for the past several weeks. This year, the legislature also passed a voter suppression law, abortion restriction laws, and a law that outlaws sanctuary cities and targets undocumented immigrants. We remain in solidarity with and are also ready to fight alongside our colleagues who focus on these issues.