North Carolina Bathroom Law Compromise Will Only Deepen Divisions in Texas

DALLAS — North Carolina's bathroom law now more than ever resembles a similar measure facing Texas lawmakers. But while some hailed the changes as a step in the right direction there, they'll have little effect in Texas other than to deepen animosities over the highly divisive issue.On Thursday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law a measure repealing and replacing one passed last year that dramatically restricted bathroom access based on "biological sex."Facing a deadline from the NCAA to change the law or risk losing more events, lawmakers re-wrote it to put the state in control of all restroom regulations, while also banning cities from passing local ordinances that govern bathroom access until 2020.The Texas bathroom bill, Senate Bill 6, would also prohibit municipalities from passing non-discrimination ordinances that regulate the use of restrooms and changing rooms, and would require people to use only those bathrooms in public schools, universities and government buildings that match the biological gender on their birth certificate.While North Carolina's altered bathroom law was hailed as a compromise in some circles, LGBT rights advocates across the nation blasted it as a back-handed attempt to retain the legislation's discriminatory effects on the transgender community. Both supporters and opponents of these so-called bathroom laws are now pointing to Texas' proposal as the new model — for either safety and privacy or government-sanctioned discrimination. Matt Wilson, an associate political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said the negative response to North Carolina's attempt to compromise "doesn't create a lot of incentives" for lawmakers in Texas to come together on their bill. "There doesn't seem to be much appetite for compromise in Texas on either side of this question," he said. "There are just some very fundamentally different perceptions of basic reality that are involved here. When you have a situation like that, it's hard to come to any sort of middle ground."Texans appear to be more divided than ever on the issue. Supporters of the measure are pointing to the policy shift in North Carolina as an endorsement of their proposal, while opponents say it reinforces concerns they have about enacting such a law in Texas.   Continue reading...

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