Texas Senate Passes Religious Adoption Bill

The Texas state House has passed an amendment prohibiting transgender students from using public school bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity. A separate Legislature measure allowing religious exemptions for adoption and foster care is headed

The Texas state House has passed an amendment prohibiting transgender students from using public school bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity. A separate Legislature measure allowing religious exemptions for adoption and foster care is headed

On what LGBT activists are calling "Discrimination Sunday", Texas lawmakers advanced bills allowing anti-LGBT discrimination by adoption agencies and restricting restroom use by transgender students in public schools. If adopted, though, the measure could bar transgender students from using the bathroom of their choice and force teachers to send them to separate, single-occupancy alternatives.

Rep. Dan Huberty, a Republican from Houston who is chairman of the powerful House Public Education Committee and spent months working on the original school finance overhaul, said he was still studying what the Senate approved overnight and hadn't fully made up his mind - but also indicated he's far from optimistic about his proposal's future.

A broader bathroom bill became law in North Carolina previous year and brought condemnation from business leaders and athletic organizations.

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 past year. "Separate but equal is not equal at all", she said. Although one version of the proposed Texas legislation would only pertain to public and charter schools, it's still very similar to the other state law that caused a national uproar.

The legislation to allow religious exemptions for adoption and foster care has passed the Senate on Monday and now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

"In terms of privacy, I had not seen the language on the "Paddie Amendment" on Senate Bill 2078 before it was voted on last night". That measure required people to use bathrooms in all state-owned buildings according to the sex on their birth certificates and preempted localities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances that included gender identity.

"This bill doesn't prohibit particular groups from adopting", said Republican bill sponsor Sen.

Texas is used to getting dragged into federal courts, which have weakened or dismantled some of the state's most prominent Republican efforts in recent years.

The Texas attorney general could sue any district that doesn't comply. Abbott can sign or veto the measure, or let it become law automatically.

"We have been clear that discriminatory legislation would have a chilling effect on economic development, make recruitment and retention more hard and stifle investment in Texas", Chris Wallace, president of the Texas Association of Business, said in a statement.

The bill now goes back to the Senate, which could accept the House's so-called compromise or reject it and call for a conference committee. Phil King, who carried the changes in the House.

"Governor Abbott has said he would demand action on this in a special session, and the House chose to dispose of the issue in this way", said House Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican, according to the Austin-American Statesman.

"I share Governor Abbott's concern about the lack of a rollback provision in Senate Bill 669 on property taxes", Patrick said.

"This amendment was more about using trans kids as a negotiating tool at a contentious point in the session than about making kids safer", Rep. Celia Israel, a leader in opposing the bill said.

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