The Governor of Texas has admitted that proposals for an anti-trans bill are dead.
The Texas legislature usually only meets f or a few weeks once every two years, but the state’s Governor Greg Abbott this year splashed out on a taxpayer-funded special legislative session in order to ram through his political agenda.
Top of the Republican Governor’s priority list was passing an anti-transgender ‘bathroom’ bill in the state, following a wave of similar proposals across the US.
But Governor Abbott admitted defeat this week, after the session was closed without any such bill passing through the House.
Though politics in the state is heavily dominated by the Republican Party, moderate GOP House Speaker Joe Straus had come out against an anti-trans bill, and had manoeuvred to ensure it would not come to a vote.
Abbott conceded today: “The Speaker made very clear that he opposed this bill and he would never allow a vote to be taken on it.
“He told me during the regular session that if this came up during the special session, he would not allow a vote on it. And there’s no evidence whatsoever that he’s going to change his mind on it.”
JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s senior vice president of policy and political affairs, said: “It’s official: Texas legislators have adjourned without passing a new anti-transgender bill this special session.
“First and foremost, these bills were defeated because of the many voices that came out in opposition, raising their voices in one chorus to say, ‘don’t discriminate in the Lone Star State.’
“To be sure, these same voices that opposed discrimination this session will make the same level of noise in the future if lawmakers attempt to discriminate against any members of our communities again.”
During the regular legislative session and the special session thousands of Texans spoke out against proposed anti-LGBTQ legislation, including 27 Fortune 500 companies, nearly 500 faith leaders and 50,124 people who took action by signing petitions or testifying against these harmful bills.
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said: “Even in these dark times, LGBTQ organizers, business leaders, fair-minded politicians, and allies in Texas and across the country rose up against Gov. Abbott’s outright attempt to place his anti-trans agenda ahead of the well-being of the state and its people.
“This bill was a solution in search of a problem and would have put trans Texans at risk for discrimination and violence.
“Today’s victory shows what can happen when transgender Americans and their allies stay vigilant and push back against legislation that helps no one and harms many.”
He had previously vowed to work with lawmakers to “get a bill to my desk that I will sign into law”.