The Texas ‘bathroom Bill' Is Dead — for Now

AUSTIN — The Texas bathroom bill is officially dead — for now. In an unexpected move late Tuesday, the Texas House wrapped up its business a day ahead of the official end of the 30-day special session, killing any hopes the legislation could be revived in the 11th hour.But the fight over transgender rights is far from over. A top priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the state's far-right Republicans, the restroom rhetoric will likely emerge as a conservative litmus test during next year's GOP primary elections and could be resurrected during the next legislative session in 2019.The proposal, which would have restricted the bathrooms, showers and locker rooms available for use to transgender Texans, ultimately died a quiet death after House leaders refused to hold a vote on the issue. They pointed to the opposition of big business, which came out in droves to oppose what they called the "discriminatory" legislation, and said it was a solution in search of a problem. "I'm disappointed," bathroom bill author sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, said Tuesday evening. "In our most intimate spaces, there should be some lines drawn."Acknowledging, "there has not been a more contentious issue this session," Kolkhorst said she's ready to "take a few breaths and go home.""It's been a long year."Carrolton Republican Ron Simmons, the House author of the legislation, said the issue will continue to be a source of debate in Texas."The legislation might be dead but the issue is still very much alive until it is solved at the State or Federal level," Simmons said. "A patchwork of local ordinances or policies is never best for all Texans."Lou Weaver, the transgender liaison for LGBT rights organization Equality Texas, was tenatively celebratory."I'm cautious about any possible next steps by our elected officials," said Weaver. "But am thankful for all the trans folks and parents of trans youth who kept pushing back against the anti-trans narrative."This is a breaking story. Check back here for more information.  Continue reading...

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