Texas Legislature Could Consider Bathroom Bill - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Texas Legislature Could Consider Bathroom Bill

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    A Plano state legislator plans to introduce a so-called bathroom bill that would prohibit local leaders from enforcing transgender bathroom policies. (Published Monday, Sept. 12, 2016)

    Legislators can begin filing bills for the 85th Legislative session in November. 

    Expect to see several so-called bathroom bills, according to Plano Republican State Representative Matt Shaheen, who represents the 66th district.

    “The government should not be stepping in to be telling people where to go to the restroom,” said Shaheen.

    Shaheen showed NBC 5 a draft of a bill he plans to file this session. 

    It states that local governments, “may not adopt or enforce an order, ordinance, or other measure to protect a class of persons from discrimination," if those people are not otherwise protected from discrimination by state law. 

    That means local leaders would be prohibited from putting out policies about transgender bathroom use.

    “The privacy and safety of women are important,” said Shaheen.

    Steve Rudner, chairman of the board of Equality Texas, believes this bill will be dead on arrival at the legislature.

    “This is, sadly, a blatant endorsement of discrimination,” said Rudner.

    Rudner says this bill is more than just about bathrooms because of the way it is written.

    “This bill says it’s okay to fire someone in Dallas. It’s okay to refuse to rent someone an apartment in Plano, just because they are gay. This is North Carolina plus. The consequences of this would be immediate and drastic,” added Rudner.

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