The Texas Legislature ended a special
legislative session a day early on Tuesday without passing a bill
that sought to restrict bathroom access for transgender people.
Lawmakers closed the session called by
Governor Greg Abbott without passing many of the signature items
Abbott, a Republican, had endorsed, including a property tax bill.
The Senate, which is controlled by Lt.
Gov. Dan Patrick, a strong proponent of the North Carolina-style law,
approved such a bill during the regular session, and it became one of
Patrick's first legislative victories during the special session.
But the effort to require transgender people to use bathrooms in
government buildings, including public schools, that correspond with
the sex on their birth certificate faced an uphill battle in the
House, where House Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican, had spoken out
against such measures and refused to refer the bill to a House
committee during the special session.
Dozens of corporations from Amazon to
Exxon Mobil had come out against the measure, predicting economic
disaster for the state if it were to become law.
Patrick said on Tuesday that he
disagreed with their assessment.
“I respect businesses have their
opinion and point of view. They were wrong,” Patrick fumed. “All
the data they had were wrong.”
GLAAD was among the LGBT rights groups
celebrating the news.
“Today's victory shows what can
happen when transgender Americans and their allies stay vigilant and
push back against legislation that helps no one and harms many,”
said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
Texas lawmakers are not scheduled to
return to work until 2019.