AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Texas Legislature pushing closer to passage of a transgender “bathroom bill” (all times local):
The Texas House has given final approval to a scaled-back version of a hotly debated transgender “bathroom bill” similar to one in North Carolina that caused national uproar last year.
Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature originally sought to force transgender people to use most public restrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates.
That had stalled until late Sunday night, when the House attached a version affecting the state’s around 5.3 million public school students as an amendment to an unrelated bill on campus safety.
The move means transgender students likely wouldn’t be permitted to use the bathroom of their choice but could be directed to separate, single-occupancy restrooms.
It cleared the House on Monday and now heads back to the state Senate — which has sought even stricter bathroom requirements.
Texas lawmakers have revived a more narrowly focused version of a transgender “bathroom bill” like the one in North Carolina that sparked a national backlash, but the Texas law would apply only to public schools and not all bathrooms.
A broader proposal mandating that transgender Texas residents use public restrooms according to their birth certificate gender sailed through the state Senate. It had stalled in the House until Sunday night, when supporters attached it to a separate bill. It will now go back to the Senate and then is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.
By focusing on schools, Texas is hoping to avoid boycotts that hurt North Carolina. But the NFL, NBA, leading business lobbies and Hollywood celebrities have urged Texas to avoid the issue.
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