The Texas House adjourned a special legislative session yesterday without passing a bill that would have limited transgender people's access to bathrooms in schools and public buildings. The measure, until it died, had the support of Republican Governor Greg Abbott and the Senate, but business leaders and civil rights groups opposed it, arguing it would "advance bigotry" and have negative effects on the state economy.
Following a vote by the Charlotte City Council, the North Carolina legislature has agreed to repeal HB2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which overturned local gay and transgender protections in a special one-day session that cost taxpayers approximately $42,000. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law mere hours after its introduction in March. The bill was a direct response to a prior nondiscrimination ordinance in the city of Charlotte, which had offered a wide range of protections. Most notably, the Charlotte ordinance allowed citizens to use the restroom that best matches their gender identity. State lawmakers acted ostensibly out of concern that women and children could be victimized by sexual predators posing as transgender to enter women’s restrooms. Lambda Legal are saying they traded a repeal of protections for the repeal of HB2, which leaves LGBTs vulnerable.
UPDATE AS OF 4 PM EST: It's official: North Carolina GOP Gov. Pat McCrory has signed legislation stripping power from the governor's office before his successor, Democrat Roy Cooper, takes office next year.
North Carolina Republicans who control the General Assembly called a surprise special session to present bills designed to strip power from the newly progressive governor and state Supreme Court amid heated ideological battles in the state.
In March of this year, North Carolina enacted HB2, known colloquially as the “bathroom law.” The anti-LGBTQ law revokes municipal LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinances and prevents transgendered people from using certain bathrooms.
A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Obama administration’s directive to U.S. public school districts to allow transgender students to use facilities matching their gender identity. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of Fort Worth issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on the ground that federal officials did not follow proper procedures in creating the directive. The federal education law, Title IX, he ruled, "is not ambiguous" about sex being defined as "the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth." Judge O’Connor sided with Republican state leaders who argued that the federal government should have allowed schools to weigh in on the directive before it was announced in May.
Big-box retailer Target garnered praise from the LGBT community in April after it pledged not to bar transgender individuals from using the restroom which corresponds with their chosen gender identity. Now, in a move which seems designed to calm critics who've boycotted the company, it announced it would spend $20 million to install a private bathroom in each of its stores. Most Target locations already have single-stall bathrooms, but the company will add the option to 277 stores by November and about 20 other stores by March 2017. Katie Boylan, a Target spokeswoman, confirmed that Target would continue to welcome transgender customers to use the bathroom they choose.