The Texas Legislature in mid-August closed the 30-day special summer session called by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) without passing two bills on Abbott’s agenda that would have threatened religious freedom: a private school voucher bill and an anti-transgender bathroom ban.
Public schools and transgender people have evaded the latest harmful machinations of Texas legislators – for now.
Last week, the Texas Legislature closed out the 30-day special summer session called by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) without passing two bills on Abbott’s agenda that would have threatened religious freedom: a private school voucher bill and an anti-transgender bathroom ban.
The Texas legislature is back in a special session called by Governor Greg Abbott (R) and the Senate has wasted no time passing troubling measures. Last week, the Texas Senate approved two bills that threaten religious freedom – a private school voucher bill and an anti-transgender bathroom ban.
Texas lawmakers passed a discriminatory adoption bill and are considering a so-called “bathroom bill.”
The adoption bill, HB 3859, would allow taxpayer-funded child welfare service providers to refuse to serve any child or family if doing so is contrary to the agency’s religious beliefs, creating a loophole for discrimination against same-sex couples, religious minority couples and others. The Senate gave the bill final approval, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed it on June 15.
The Texas legislature only meets every other year. So, with the last day of session rapidly approaching, the past few days – yes, even including the weekend – have been wild. The result: A lot of harmful policies are closer to becoming law. Here’s a roundup of the legislature’s troubling actions over past couple of days:
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has signed what’s being considered a compromise bill to roll back the anti-transgender HB2 “bathroom bill” that sparked controversy nationwide.
The new bill passed the state Senate 32-16 and the House 70-48, and was signed by Cooper on March 30. The compromise, which Cooper said was “the best deal that we could get,” disappointed many pro-LGBTQ rights groups because it does not completely repeal HB2.
A suburban Chicago school board race this spring was seen as a referendum on transgender rights. According to Tuesday’s unofficial election results, transgender rights won.
Over a year ago, the school board for Township High School District 211 in the Palatine-Schaumburg area northwest of Chicago approved a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education to allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.
The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.
Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the National LGBT Bar Association today asked the Supreme Court to affirm that a transgender student can use the school restroom that corresponds with his gender identity.