Texas revives transgender 'bathroom bill' for public schools

The Texas House late Sunday night passed a bill concerning hazard and emergency planning for charter and public schools that included an amendment restricting transgender students' access to bathrooms.

It's a measure that would override existing trans-inclusive policies at some school districts that allow transgender children to use the bathroom of their choice.

"It's absolutely about child safety", said Paddie, from the East Texas town of Marshall.

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When the key vote occurred on the bathroom legislation, it passed 91-50.

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"Our faith compels us to oppose anti-transgender legislation ('bathroom bills), discriminatory laws masquerading as "religious freedom", or any other attempts to treat Texas' LGBT community as second-class citizens", said the letter from Texas Believes, which according to its website is a project of the Texas Freedom Network and Equality Texas. Many of those groups admit they don't work with adoptive parents who are single, gay or non-Christian, and the bill could keep them from being sued. With Republicans enjoying solid majorities in both of Texas' legislative chambers, though, such opposition was purely symbolic.

By focusing on schools, Republicans could presumably thwart some of those concerns by letting stand local nondiscrimination ordinances - some on the books for decades in the state's biggest cities - that are meant to allow transgender residents to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. "Separate but equal is not equal at all", Thompson said, drawing floor applause.

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Meanwhile, Texas' health department already tried to implement state rules mandating burial or cremation of fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages - but those were blocked by a federal judge who said they had no medical benefit and were "purely political". After Donald Trump assumed office as the 45th president of the United States, he repealed the order in February, the Associated Press reported.

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