Texas

Repeal Of North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill” Puts Texas SB 6 In Jeopardy

Speaker Joe Straus was already reluctant to bring the bill forward in the Texas House, due to the potential economic consequences.

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FILE- In this May 12, 2016 file photo, signage is seen outside a restroom at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

North Carolina's Republican legislature and Democratic governor have reached a compromise to repeal portions of the state's controversial "bathroom bill," in the wake of a mounting economic backlash. The deal undercuts efforts by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to pass a similar bill (SB 6) in Texas.

The final straw appears to have been an announcement by the NCAA that it would bar North Carolina from hosting any championship events through 2022, absent any changes in the law.

Mark Jones, political science fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute, says the move pulls the rug out from under Patrick and other supporters of the Texas bathroom bill, "because they've been highlighting over the past month the fact that North Carolina is firmly behind this legislation and that it isn't having a negative impact."

Like the North Carolina law, SB 6 would require transgender individuals to use the restroom or changing facility of the gender on their birth certificates. The bill is a top priority for Patrick, but House Speaker Joe Straus sees it as a potential snare for his Republican colleagues.

"If they vote in favor of it, they alienate the Texas business community," Jones says. "On the other hand, if they vote against the bill, then they hand a potential Republican primary opponent a major issue that they can use against them in the March 2018 Republican primaries."

Less than two months remain in the current legislative session, and SB 6, which arrived in the House two weeks ago, has yet to be assigned to a committee.

 

Correction: The deal reached repeals portions of the bill, not the entire bill.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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