Efforts to approve a bill that would
restrict bathroom access for people who are transgender have stalled
in the Texas House.
With the special legislative session
called for by Republican Governor Greg Abbott coming to a close on
Wednesday, the bill looks to be dead.
The Senate, which is controlled by Lt.
Gov. Dan Patrick, a strong proponent of the bill, approved such a
bill during the regular session, and it became one of Patrick's first
priorities during the special session.
With a 21-10 vote, the Senate approved
Senate Bill 3 after an eight-hour debate. Introduced by Republican
Senator Lois Kolkhorst, the bill would prohibit transgender people
from using the bathroom of their choice in public schools and local
government buildings, but not state buildings and public
universities. The legislation would override local transgender
protections in cities such as Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort
During the regular session, Texas House
Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican, allowed a watered-down version of a
bathroom bill to reach the House floor. But citing safety and
economic concerns, Straus has refused to refer the bill to a House
committee during the special session.
Proponents, however, are not backing
down, raising the possibility that the issue will return next year.
“Men do not belong in female locker
rooms, showers and restrooms and no amount of monetary threats,
corporate logos, New Yorker articles or Hollywood hypocrisy will ever
change that,” Kolkhorst said in a statement released Friday. “Many
Texans are alarmed at the effort by some to erode all gender barriers
in our schools and public spaces and at the end of the day, there
will be future legislative sessions and elections to continue the