AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Republican speaker of the Texas House says he didn’t want a “suicide” on his hands over a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people that Gov. Greg Abbott has told lawmakers to revive.
An article published Monday in The New Yorker quotes Joe Straus as saying he told a senator in May that he didn’t “want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.”
LGBT rights groups say efforts to restrict which bathrooms transgender people can use are discriminatory and could elevate the risk of suicides. Backers of the bill say privacy protections are needed.
Straus’ comments in the magazine go further than his usual criticism that the bill is bad for Texas business.
Abbott wants lawmakers to revive the bill in a special legislative session starting July 18.