Transgender Texan posts photo with Abbott to decry 'bathroom bill'

18 July, 2017, 09:57 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Debate Over Texas Bathroom Bill Isn't Going Away Anytime Soon

As Texas legislators convene for a special session to discuss a 19-item agenda, including the state's proposed "bathroom bill," the Texas Welcomes All and Keep Texas Open for Business coalitions-along with state CVBs, business leaders, lawmakers, and other groups, including ASAE-denounced the bill as discriminatory in a Monday press conference at the State Capitol.

"I did not think it [shouting] would work, or that I would be heard and was more interested in the getting the photograph and not getting thrown out", Smith said.

Opponents argue the measure not only discriminates against LGBT Texans but it would cost the state's economy billions of dollars. The legislation stalled in the House before a compromise limited to public schools was approved as an amendment.

The Republican-controlled Legislature is heading into a special session prepared to revive a bill requiring transgender people to use public restrooms according to their birth-certificate gender.

The Conservative Republicans of Texas political action committee says it's ready to pounce on those who don't support the strict proposal that mimicked a 2015 North Carolina law that sparked so much uproar and threats of costly boycotts that lawmakers there eventually rolled much of it back.

"We're about 1-in-300 people, we're all over the place, we're your friends and your neighbors", Smith said of the bill to My San Antonio. "What they are realizing is, even though we don't like that approach, it is incumbent upon us to learn about how to talk about politics".

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made passing a bathroom bill a top priority. Abbott, meanwhile, has appeared conflicted.

Leading up to the special session, Abbott has urged lawmakers to go "20 for 20" and pass all of his priorities.

Republican House of Representatives Speaker Joe Straus and companies including IBM, American Airlines, Apple and Southwest Airlines have spoken out against the bill. It also helped recruit two upstart candidates in suburban Houston who toppled key Straus lieutenants during the 2016 GOP primary.

The governor said guardsmen now working the Texas-Border mission will soon transition from operating under state orders to federal orders by the end of the month.

Last week U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, told Abbott he should look to "do the right thing", with respect to federal monies he said is owed to the city of McAllen and other border communities in the state for their humanitarian efforts when scores of unaccompanied children inundated the area beginning in 2014.

Cook, though, isn't shying away from the issue.

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