The Texas House has approved a proposed bathroom bill.
Senate Bill 2078 originally was intended to define school districts’ ‘multihazard emergency operations plans’, the plans for situations including active shooters or natural catastrophes.
But on Monday (22 May) Representatives added an amendment which would keep transgender students attending public schools from using the bathroom matching their gender identity.
Instead, school districts would have to provide single-stall restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities to any student who does not wish to use the facilities matching their ‘biological sex’.
Representatives voted 94-51 in favor of the bill.
A version of the bill is expected to pass the Senate, which is led by Republicans.
It would then land on the desk of Republican Governor Greb Abbott, who is expected to sign the measure.
In April, after a long silence on the matter, Abbott expressed his support for a bathroom bill.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 18, 2017
If the bill passes, it would override some school districts’ trans-friendly policies.
It would also make Texas the only state with a statue restricting trans kids’ access to bathrooms in schools.
Representative Senfronia Thompson called the measure reminiscent of segretation.
‘I happened to be a part of this society during a period of time in this state and in this country when we had “separate but equal” and I remember those days,’ she said.
‘You remember? Bathrooms: white, colored.
‘Bathrooms divided us then and it divides us now and America has long recognized that separate but equal is not equal at all.’
Last year, North Carolina became the first state to pass a so-called bathroom bill, which requires trans people to use the bathroom matching the sex on their birth certificate.
It cost the state at least $3.67 million in business, and a number of high-profile names and companies – including PayPal and Bruce Springsteen – canceled concerts or business plans in the state.
This year, Texas considered two bathroom bills similar to those of North Carolina.
Both bills failed in the House, after businesses and LGBTI activists put pressure on lawmakers.
Senate passes anti-LGBTI adoption bill
Also on Monday, the Texas Senate passed HB2859 which is supposed to protecte the religious freedom of adoption agencies and foster care providers.
It does so by banning Texas from taking ‘adverse action’ against faith-based organizations turning people away on the basis of ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’.
If Abbott signs it into law, it would allow adoption and foster agencies to reject parents based on their religious beliefs.
This means they could turn away Muslim and Jewish parents, but also reject applications from LGBTI couples or individuals.
There is also the fear of HB2859 allowing agencies to require kids to comply with any faith-based requirements, which could see them forced into dangerous ‘gay cure’ therapies.
They are deeply harmful and potentially deadly practices who have been denounced by all major international health organizations.