Does ‘bathroom Bill' Show Business Is the ‘caboose' of Texas Legislature? Some Worry Power Is Waning

Back in November, more than a month before the 85th session of the Texas legislature had begun, Dallas’ top tourism group laid out its priorities for the year ahead.High at the top of the list was eliminating the threat to the region’s economic momentum posed by a so-called bathroom bill, or legislation that would prevent transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice."It's so important that our hospitality industry and all of our partners understand what's at risk here and help us fight this bill so that it doesn't see the light of day because it will have a devastating impact," Phillip Jones, president and chief executive of VisitDallas said at the time.Other business advocacy groups joined VisitDallas in vocal opposition to the legislation of transgender people’s bathroom usage, saying that the mere perception of Texas as a state that discriminates against LGBT people could cost the state billions of dollars.The debate over whether such legislation is discriminatory or necessary to protect women and girls from locker room predators, as its proponents have argued, has raged as one of the most visible fights of the session.On Monday, the Texas House approved a bill that would end that. In its current iteration, the legislation is limited to transgender school children, who would be barred from using multi-occupancy bathrooms that match their gender identity unless there’s no one else in them.  Continue reading...

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