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After Bathroom Bill Fails in House, Lawmakers Explore New Options

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A bill introduced by the Texas House of Representatives that would block local governments from protecting classes of people not already protected by the state has been referred to a “bathroom bill,” since it would prevent ordinances to protect transgender people. The proposed legislation, known as House Bill 2899, is dead in the water since the deadline to pass it was on Monday, but lawmakers are considering options that could have the same result.

A spokesperson for Rep. Ron Simmons, who proposed the bill, told LawNewz.com that one possibility is for the language of the bill to be added as an amendment to another bill. Alternatively, the House can forget about the bill and focus on a Senate bill that goes even further than HB 2899. The same representative said that the measures included in the House Bill are also in Senate Bill 6.

The Senate Bill, in addition to restricting local ordinances, comes right out and says that multi-person restrooms, locker rooms, showers, or changing facilities in public buildings and schools must be designated according to users’ sex at birth. Since that proposed legislation was introduced in the Senate, the House still has an opportunity to vote on it. The deadline for that action is May 23. The State Senate passed the bill back in March, according to CBSDFW.

The bill is reminiscent of North Carolina’s bathroom bill, which was recently repealed. That bill spawned nationwide controversy that included businesses and events pulling out of the state in protest. Cece Cox, CEO of Resource Center, a health organization that provides services to the local LGBT community, warned of this in a statement to CBS. Cox said, “There’s a huge economic impact that could happen. Businesses would pull out of Texas, just like they did out of North Carolina and Indiana when they passed similar measures.” She also called the bills “immoral and unjust.”

[Image via CBSDFW]

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