Texas: Bathroom battle could be coming soon

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Texas legislators are debating a bill that would require people to use public restrooms that match the gender they were assigned at birth.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who presides over the Senate, is pushing for the bill among around 30 priorities he has introduced for the upcoming session. Patrick considers the issue a high priority and his team has released polls reflecting support for the bill.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) has been lukewarm, saying it "isn't the most urgent concern" for him or members of his district. He also passed on concerns from business leaders that such a bill would hurt commerce or put upcoming events, like an NCAA final tournament scheduled for 2018, at risk.

North Carolina faced boycotts earlier this year after passing a similar "bathroom bill." Universities in the state were put in a difficult position when ordered by the federal government to denounce the bill—and ordered by the state government to follow it (Moritz, USA Today/Abilene Reporter-News, 11/30; Ramsey, Texas Tribune, 11/30).

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