With only three days to go until the end of the Special Session, and the controversial 'bathroom bill' on life support, supporters today will attempt to resurrect it, while opponents hope to pound more nails into its coffin, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
State Rep. Byron Cook (D-Corsicana) says he will not bring the measure to limit transgender restroom use up for debate in his House State Affairs Committee. The measure easily passed the State Senate in the first few days of the Special Session, but appears destined to die in the House, just like happened in the Regular Session.
Jose Medina with the liberal leaning Texas Freedom Network today will be delivering petitions containing thousands of signatures to lawmakers urging them to bury the bill.
"Most Texans believe that Texas should be a welcome and opening state," Medina told News Radio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board. "So it should come as no surprise that there are many people are are saying, 'no, we don't want this'."
Meanwhile, Evangelical Christian groups, joined by 'Texas parents and children who support privacy protection' will hold a news conference urging House Speaker Joe Straus (R-Alamo Heights) to allow the House to vote on the bill.
No more than 57 State Representatives have signed onto the bill, far fewer than the 76 needed to pass the bill in the 150 member House.
The bill would mandate that admission to rest rooms in public buildings and schools be limited to the gender on the birth certificate of the user, and that locally passed 'Non Discrimination Ordinances' which allow people to use the rest room that matches their 'gender identity' be overturned.
Supporters claim that, using local NDOs as cover, sexual predators will claim to be transgender so they can enter women's rest rooms and sexually assault, photograph, or just ogle women and girls.
Opponents of the bill say there are currently laws on the books that make any of those activities felonies, whether they are committed in women's rest rooms by men who falsely claim to be transgender, or by any individual at any location. They also say that there is nothing stopping men from entering women's restrooms today, but despite that, police chiefs testified that bathroom crimes are so few as to be insignificant
.With Cook declining to give the main bill a hearing, the only hope for supporters would be to tack language from the Bathroom Bill onto another bill which is likely to pass. But at his late date, it is unlikely that a sponsor of a bill that is headed for passage would risk having it fail by allowing this measure to be tacked onto it.
Even major supporters of the Bathroom Bill are already talking about the need to bring it up in 'future sessions,' a tacit admission that it won't be passing this week.