Texas transgender 'bathroom bill' dies for second time this year

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Aug. 16, 2017 at 7:16 AM
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Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The Texas legislature concluded its special session late Tuesday without passing the so-called "bathroom bill" -- controversial legislation aimed at limiting public restroom access to transgender persons.

The special 30-day session ended a day ahead of schedule, but without a resolution for the restroom bill -- and several others Gov. Greg Abbott wanted passed.

The proposed law failed to pass for the second time this year. A similar effort to restrict transgender persons from using public bathrooms, showers and lockers opposite their birth sex died during the legislature's regular session in June.

The bathroom bill divided both the state's Senate, which approved it, and House, which defeated it. The Texas Republican Party was also split on the issue.

Demonstrators in Austin opposed the restrictive proposal, calling it a veiled attempt to marginalize the transgender community. Businesses like ExxonMobil and Amazon opposed it as well -- joining more than 50 Fortune 500 companies against the bill -- as well as law enforcement organizations and state and national teachers groups, who called it discriminatory and unnecessary.

The Dallas Stars NHL hockey club also repelled the proposed law, becoming Texas' first professional sports team to weigh in on the matter.

For Abbott, who is running for re-election in 2018, the special session provided no success. Without another, the state's legislators will not meet again until 2019. Other bills Abbott favored, including a property tax proposal and taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools, also failed.

"The last 29 days have been nothing more than a waste of time and taxpayer dollars," commented Democratic State Rep. Chris Tuner.

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