Time for the week that was in Texas politics with Emily Ramshaw, editor-in-chief at the Texas Tribune.
Ride-hailing regulations were on the agenda at the Legislature this week. The bill debated in the House acquired an unusual amendment – one that addressed gender identity. The amendment, which remained in the bill that passed the House, defined sex as male or female. Several lawmakers who had supported the bill withdrew their names, thanks to the amendment.
“Texas lawmakers never miss an opportunity to add gender identity to the conversation,” Ramshaw says.
A House committee stayed up late considering a version of the so-called ‘bathroom bill’ that began life in the Senate. The debate centered on the ability of cities and other local governments to pass their own anti-discrimination rules, related to the use of bathrooms by transgender people. Ramshaw says it’s unclear what will happen with the House bill, which Governor Abbott labeled “thoughtful.” House Speaker Joe Straus, who opposed the Senate’s stricter bill, says his position is unchanged.
Texas must pay $600,000 to two couples who sued the state over its attempts to obstruct same-sex marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states must recognize such marriages. The state supported county clerks who wished to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds. The judgment represents the couples’ legal fees in the case they ultimately won against the state.
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.