Texas civil rights groups are slamming Gov. Greg Abbott for adding the so-called bathroom bill to the legislative special session, which starts next month.
"We heard this kind of discrimination being talked about the entire session, but it still feels like a gut punch," Lou Weaver, with Equality Texas, tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI.
The bill, which would limit transgender bathroom use, sailed through the Texas Senate during the regular session but got hung up in the house.
At a press conference this week, Gov. Abbott pressed for a compromise, which would only affect public school restrooms and locker rooms.
"We need a law that protects the privacy of our children in public schools," Abbott said.
The bathroom bill is one of about 20 items added to the special session, and will jockey for time with a handful of other social issues, including several that pro-life issues. Dan Quinn, who heads the Texas Freedom Network, says, Instead of forcing the Legislature to focus on bills that will really help everyday Texans, Gov. Abbott wants taxpayers to pay for lawmakers to turn the Capitol into a playground for their culture war obsessions.
"Texas faces a lot of important challenges, but how to humiliate and discriminate against transgender people in public restrooms, shame women and make it harder for them to obtain safe and legal abortion care, and undermine our neighborhood public schools with misguided voucher schemes are simply not among them," he said in a statement. “Frankly, stunts like this make Texas look more and more to the rest of the country like a big state with very small-minded leaders.”