Week in Review — Texas Lawmakers Pile on More Anti-LGBT Bills

April 15, 2017 • 12:02 pm

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives introduced a dangerous bill that would make it illegal for local municipalities to pass measures protecting transgender people from discrimination in restrooms and changing facilities, and would even void similar protections already on the books across the state. The measure, HB 2899, is scheduled to be heard in the House State Affairs Committee next Wednesday.

“No one should be fooled by HB 2899 – this is dangerous legislation that is just as discriminatory and economically perilous as SB 6,” said Matt McTighe, Freedom for All Americans’ executive director. “Legal protections from discrimination are put in place for a reason, and rolling those protections back should never be on the table. Like SB 6, this legislation is a solution in search of a problem that just doesn’t exist. There are no winners under HB 2899 – it will create dangerous situations for transgender people, and like SB 6 it will tarnish Texas’ reputation and economy.”

You can learn more about this dangerous bill, and other important state nondiscrimination news below:

Colorado

A Senate committee in Colorado advanced a discriminatory religious exemptions bill this week on a 3-2 party line vote. If passed, Senate Bill 282 would allow public businesses and individuals to exempt themselves from Colorado’s nondiscrimination laws, which protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing, employment and public spaces.

The measure which has been met with fierce resistance by business, faith and even conservative individuals and organizations now heads to the state Senate where it is expected to be met with resistance.

North Carolina

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced late this week that is was dropping its lawsuit against North Carolina over the disastrous HB 2 law. The move is the latest from the Trump administration that undermines the safety and legal equality of LGBT people — particularly transgender Americans. The DOJ cited HB 142 — the equally objectionable and discriminatory replacement law — in dropping its case.

The organizations involved in the original litigation – the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU of North Carolina — will continue to press forward.

South Carolina

For the second year in a row, South Carolina’s LGBT community has successfully blocked a measure that would have prohibited transgender people from using the restroom that matches their gender identity. H.3012, which was molded after North Carolina’s disastrous HB 2, was opposed by the state’s business community and could not gain traction in the Republican controlled legislature. SC Equality Executive Director Jeff Ayers hailed the measure’s defeat, saying: “South Carolina has told the nation for the 2nd consecutive year it will not make the mistakes of its northern neighbor.”

Texas

Texas lawmakers introduced HB 2899 late this week as a so-called alternative to SB 6 – but in reality, the new House measure would continue to single out transgender Texans for harm and damage the state’s economy.

The measure would ban municipalities from protecting transgender people in restrooms, and would void protections already in place to do just that. This would impact existing nondiscrimination ordinances in at least five Texas cities, including Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso, and San Antonio. The House’s State Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on the discriminatory and sweeping bill next Wednesday.

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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