Controversial "Bathroom Bill" Passes House in Texas, Expected to Pass Senate

Controversial "Bathroom Bill" Passes House in Texas, Expected to Pass Senate

After months of debate in the public eye, the House of Representatives of the State of Texas passed a form of the controversial Bathroom Bill late Sunday, and it is now set to move on to the Senate.

After months of debate in the public eye, the House of Representatives of the State of Texas passed a form of the controversial Bathroom Bill late Sunday, and it is now set to move on to the Senate.

Text: Carolyn Hanson

After months of debate in the public eye, the House of Representatives of the State of Texas passed a form of the controversial Bathroom Bill late Sunday, and it is now set to move on to the Senate, who are anticipated to pass the bill and land it on the desk of Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R). This occurrence is being touted as a "compromise," as the original Bathroom Bill was much broader, and affected all public restrooms and locker rooms, while the version that has passed the Senate is an amendment to a bill regarding emergency procedures solely at public schools. However, this nonetheless comes as a blow to the transgender community and both the civil rights groups and major companies (American Airlines, Dell) that were fighting to dead the bill entirely.

The new legislation states that a transgender student may not use the bathroom or locker room that is contingent with their gender identity unless there is no one else inside–the rest of the time, they must use single stall restrooms. However, the bill does state that every school must provide single occupancy bathrooms for "a student who does not wish to use the facilities designated for use or commonly used by persons of the student's biological sex." This is a minor reprieve, as transgender students will still be forced to face the possibilities of embarrassment and bullying from classmates on a daily basis. The bill puts children's safety at risk, and in a country that has seen 10 deaths from attacks on transgender people this year alone, is terrifying for all members of the community.

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