House Passes Compromise ‘Bathroom Bill’

Unlike Senate Bill 6, the House measure only regulates school restroom-use policies.

By Rhonda FanningMay 22, 2017 11:57 am, , ,

Late Sunday night,the Texas House revived a plan to restrict what public bathrooms transgender people can use. But it’s not the same bill that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been pushing for all session – Senate Bill 6.

Lauren McGaughy, state politics reporter for the Dallas Morning News says the House bill covers only schools – public schools and charters. SB 6 would have affected cities and government buildings.

McGaughy says the House addressed Patrick’s insistence on passage of ‘bathroom bill’ language by adding it to an education bill.

“The ‘bathroom bill’ language that was passed out of the House,” McGaughy says “was actually an amendment onto another public education bill that dealt with natural disaster preparedness and terrorist threats, and school shootings, and training and preparedness for that.”

McGaughy says the House acted on transgender bathroom use despite the fact that Speaker Joe Straus did not embrace the idea.  Patrick was holding other important bills hostage – including the state budget – threatening to keep them from passing if he didn’t get his way on the bathroom bill.

The House-passed bill represents a compromise between that chamber, the Senate, where Patrick is in control, and Governor Greg Abbott, who could have called a special session of the legislature to resolve the issue. But McGaughy says LGBT groups who oppose any requirement that transgender people use the bathroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate believe the House bill “targets the most vulnerable population of transgender people in Texas, these are kids,” McGaughy says.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.