Texas ‘bathroom bill’ fades as legislative session wraps up

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas will keep spending $800 million on border security while putting little new money into public schools, maintaining therapy cuts for disabled children and easing handgun license fees as the Republican-led Legislature approved a new state budget Saturday.

The $217 billion spending bill sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will likely be a quiet footnote to a rancorous legislative session that ends Monday — upended by a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people and an immigration crackdown on so-called “sanctuary cities.”

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Texas Pushes Ahead With ‘Bathroom Bill’ as Others Shy Away

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — As “bathroom bills” targeting transgender individuals falter across the U.S., fizzling even in conservative bastions like Kansas and Arkansas following the upheaval over a North Carolina law last year, Texas Republicans are doubling down in their determination.

The resolve to make Texas only the second state to restrict bathroom access for transgender persons before Monday — when lawmakers adjourn until 2019 — is raising the possibility of a special session and exasperating business groups and LGBTQ rights organizations that have united in opposition for months.

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Texas governor gives first clear support for ‘bathroom bill’

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP)- Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for the first time Tuesday endorsed a “bathroom bill” and breathed new life into North Carolina-style efforts that businesses and LGBT rights groups hoped had stalled with time running out to sign into law.

Abbott’s sudden public support following months of silence is significant. By now calling on the Republican-controlled Legislature to send him a bill before the end of May, Texas is thrust closer to joining North Carolina as the only states in the U.S. with so-called “bathroom bills” that critics condemn as discriminatory.

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NCAA returns events to NC after state makes changes to LGBTQ law

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)- The NCAA has awarded coveted men’s basketball tournament games and other events to North Carolina, effectively ending a boycott that helped force the state to repeal parts of a law that limited protections for LGBTQ people.

The governing body announced decisions Tuesday for events through 2022, two weeks after the NCAA said it had “reluctantly” agreed to consider North Carolina again for hosting duties. It had stripped North Carolina of seven championship events for the past sports season, including opening-weekend men’s basketball tournament games, and said it could relocate more events if there wasn’t a change in the “bathroom bill.”

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Vermont’s gender-free restroom bill running against deadline

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP)- Vermont is moving ahead with a statewide measure to take gendered signs off single-occupancy public bathrooms, but time is running out to pass the bill during this year’s lawmaking session.

After an identical California law passed last year, nearly a quarter of Vermont’s 150-member House signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. New York is the only other state that is considering a similar legislation this year. A Hawaii bill in the same vein failed last year. Washington, D.C., and many cities and colleges have already enacted similar policy.

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Cooper signs deal to replace HB2 as LGBT advocates cry betrayal

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed Thursday a proposal to replace North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2 with another law enabling anti-LGBT discrimination, prompting cries of betrayal from LGBT advocates who say he disregarded his campaign promise to sign the bill in full.

The measure, House Bill 142, was approved on a bipartisan basis Thursday in the Senate by a vote of 32-16 and the House by vote of 70-48 after Republican leaders and Cooper announced the deal late Wednesday night. Cooper announced during a news conference later in the day he signed the bill.

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Bathroom bill thrusts Montana into national LGBTQ debate

By : Wire Report
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HELENA, MONT. (AP) – Montana’s chief economic development officer warned Thursday of dire consequences if lawmakers entangle the state in the national debate about the use of bathrooms by transgender people.

Ken Fichtler, the governor’s chief adviser on economic development, pointed to North Carolina as a prime example of the negative repercussions that could arise over who can legally use gender-specific bathrooms.

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Montana lawmaker seeks voter referendum on transgender bathroom use

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) A Montana lawmaker introduced a bill Friday calling for a voter referendum on whether to ban transgender people from school and public restrooms and locker rooms that don’t match their gender at birth.

The bill sponsored by Republican state Rep. Carl Glimm of Kila was written with the assistance of the conservative Montana Family Foundation. It inserts Montana into a national debate over lesbian, gay and transgender people’s rights and is similar to controversial legislation that has passed or is under consideration in states like North Carolina, Arkansas and Texas.

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Arkansas panel closer to public building ‘bathroom bill’

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – An Arkansas Senate committee moved closer to approving a bill requiring that people in public schools and government buildings use bathrooms that correspond to their birth gender, despite fears the move could lead to boycotts.

Republican Sen. Linda Collins-Smith wants restrooms or locker rooms in government buildings limited to members of only one sex if multiple people use it. A similar law in North Carolina prompted the NBA and NCAA to move major sporting events out of the state.

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Arkansas ‘bathroom bill’ would cover government buildings

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – An Arkansas lawmaker proposed March 6 prohibiting individuals from using bathrooms in government buildings that do not match their gender at birth, despite warnings from the state’s Republican governor against a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people.

The proposal from Republican Sen. Linda Collins-Smith would require every restroom or changing facility accessible by multiple people at the same time in a government building be designated for use by members of only one sex. The bill would not apply to private restrooms.

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Efforts to repeal North Carolina ‘bathroom bill’ are an at impasse again

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The drive supporting a new proposal to repeal North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” is stuck in idle as Republican lawmakers and the new Democratic governor disagree about how to empower local governments to expand some LGBT rights.

Supporters call the bipartisan legislation a compromise to undo the law known as House Bill 2, which has cost North Carolina some conventions, concerts, sporting events and business expansions. The proposal includes some add-ons, however, that gay rights groups and many Democrats oppose.

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Texas governor slams NFL over ‘bathroom bill’ criticism

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is slamming the NFL for criticizing a bill in his state’s Legislature that would prohibit transgender people from using the public restroom of their choice.

In an appearance Thursday on Fox News, the Republican said that if the league punishes Texas over the “bathroom bill,” “I might just pass a bill” requiring all players to stand and place their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem.

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