Texas anti-transgender bathroom bill dies

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Texas House of Representatives adjourned on Tuesday without voting a bill that would limit transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

Senate Bill 3 would have prohibited schools from allowing trans students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with their gender identity. Critics also pointed out SB 3 would have undermined trans-inclusive nondiscrimination measures as they relate to access to bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic activities.

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Houston sued over possible denial of benefits to gay spouses

By : Wire Report
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Three city employees and their spouses who are concerned that Houston could be forced to stop paying benefits to same-sex spouses due to an ongoing civil case on Thursday sued the city, asking for a court order to stop any such action.

The employees’ lawsuit, filed in federal court, comes after the all-Republican state Supreme Court in June overturned a lower court’s decision favoring same-sex marriage benefits and ordered the case back to a civil court in Harris County, where Houston is located.

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Rick Perry: ‘I totally support’ Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Energy Secretary Rick Perry took time Friday during his visit to an air conditioning manufacturer in Texas to declare support for President Trump’s ban on transgender military service.

Perry told reporters he backs the policy change after his visit to the Daikin Texas Technology Park in Waller, Texas, basing his reasoning on the cost of transition-related care, according to the Texas Tribune.

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Texas Senate advances anti-transgender bathroom bill

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Texas State approved legislation on Tuesday that would bar transgender kids from using certain restrooms consistent with their gender identity, inching the state closer to enacting the law despite objections the from transgender advocates, the business community and law enforcement.

By a 21-10 vote, the chamber approved Senate Bill 3, which would bar schools from allowing transgender students to use the restroom of their choice and undercut municipal non-discrimination protections for transgender people in restrooms, locker rooms and athletic activities.

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Trans woman posts photo with her ‘bathroom buddy’ Texas Gov. Abbott

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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(Image from Ashley Smith’s Facebook page.)

Ashley Smith, a transgender woman and LGBT activist, took a dig at Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s support for SB6, Texas’ “bathroom bill,” with a photo that has gone viral.

Smith posted the photo of herself and Abbott on Facebook and Instagram captioned, “How will the Potty Police know I’m transgender if the Governor doesn’t?” Across the top of the photo, Smith typed “#BATHROOMBUDDY.”

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Texas ‘bathroom bill’ may shape 2018 GOP primary campaigns

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Though “bathroom bills” targeting transgender people fizzled in deep-red states across the U.S., the issue is still white hot in Texas, where the Legislature is heading into special session prepared to revive it and conservative groups are vowing revenge on Republican lawmakers who don’t approve it.

Whether Texas eventually enacts a law requiring transgender people to use public restrooms according to their birth-certificate gender, the issue is looming large over Republican primaries set for March. Powerful business entities, from Apple to the NFL, oppose such a bill as discriminatory, but insurgent candidates have promised to brand lawmakers who dare reject it, or try to remain neutral in the face of so much outcry, as soft on social issues dear to conservatives.

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Texas House speaker didn’t want suicide over ‘bathroom bill’

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The driving force in Texas behind a “bathroom bill” pushed back July 3 after the Republican House speaker was quoted as saying he didn’t want a “suicide” on his hands over efforts to restrict which restrooms transgender people can use.

LGBT rights groups and other opponents, meanwhile, praised House Speaker Joe Straus over comments published in The New Yorker that signaled a moral opposition to a “bathroom bill” alongside his repeated condemnation of the measure as bad for the Texas economy.

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Texas court questions right of benefits for same-sex spouses

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gay spouses may not be entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits, the Texas Supreme Court ruled June 30 in a unanimous decision that was quickly condemned by gay-rights groups.

The court overturned a lower court’s decision that favored same-sex marriage benefits, ordering the issue back to trial. Social conservatives hope the case will help them chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing gay marriage.

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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

By : Wire Report
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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 lawmakers advance anti-LGBT adoption, bathroom bills

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Under a threat from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of being called into a special session, the Texas Legislature late Sunday advanced two anti-LGBT measures — one pertaining to adoption, the other transgender students — with days remaining before lawmakers were set to adjourn.

The Texas Senate voted 21-10 to pass House Bill 3859, which would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse to place children in homes over religious objections. Given that many of these agencies are religious in nature, that could lead to them refusing to place children with LGBT families.

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Texas adoption agencies could soon be allowed to ban LGBTQ couples

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Parents seeking to adopt children in Texas could soon be rejected by state-funded or private agencies with religious objections to them being LGBTQ, Jewish, Muslim, single, or interfaith couples, under a proposal in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Five other states have passed similar laws protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on religious grounds – but Texas’ rule would extend to state-funded agencies. Only South Dakota’s is similarly sweepingly.

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