Texas Republican to introduce two anti-LGBT bathroom bills for special session
A Republican lawmaker is set to introduce two new anti-LGBT bathroom bills in a costly special legislative session to take place next month.
The bills will be introduced by Representative Ron Simmons, who introduced a measure in the regular session which failed.
He said one of the bills will be the same and another will apply specifically to public schools.
Speaking to the Dallas Morning News, Simmons said: “I am going to file two versions. One that just does schools and one that does political subdivisions.”
He added that it will be filed “within minutes” of the session starting.
The Governor of Texas, a fan of Simmons’ bill, earlier this year said that passing a bill to stop transgender people using public bathrooms is his top priority.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott has been a leading voice in backing a frenzy of anti-LGBT legislation in Texas, after the Trump administration ended Obama-era legal resistance from the federal government against discriminatory state laws in North Carolina.
Due to the unique political system in Texas, the state legislature only actually meets once every two years, for a maximum of 140 days.
The 2017 session, which began in January is now nearing its end – putting a time limit on efforts to pass more anti-LGBT legislation.
As the clock runs down, Governor Abbott had urged lawmakers to pass anti-trans law Senate Bill 6.
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In response to the failure to pass the bill, the state’s Governor has earlier this month vowed to hold a special legislative session on the issue – an extremely costly procedure which is intended to only be used for urgent issues and emergency legislation.
Governor Abbott announced a special session at the Texas State Capitol.
The so-called “bathroom bill” has already received negative attention as some of the nation’s top business CEOs, including Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook, have denounced any sort of discriminatory, anti-trans legislation.
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said: “Governor Greg Abbott is proving everything is bigger in Texas including prioritising discrimination.
“If the governor moves forward with this harmful legislation against trans students, LGBTQ people, businesses, and fair-minded Texans will respond in Texas style – Big.
“Trans Texans have experienced harassment and threats because of this last session and if any anti-trans bills get signed into law, then Governor Abbott’s legacy will be turning Texas into a state known for harming some its most marginalised people.”