Will the “Bathroom Bill” Be Part of a Special Session?

By Bill O’Neil

Both sides of the debate over the so-called “Bathroom” or “Privacy” bill are watching and waiting for Governor Greg Abbott’s call for a special session of the Texas Legislature.

“It seems ridiculous to me that merely allowing discrimination isn’t enough for our Lieutenant Governor–he wants to require discrimination. That’s hateful” said Kathy Miller with the Texas Freedom Network, voicing her frustration over the House Compromise that was rejected by the Texas Senate.

Miller told KTSA News civil liberties took a beating during the regular legislative session, portraying it as the “worst legislative session” she has ever seen in that regard.

“There were at least two dozen bills filed that would discriminate against LGBT Texans in one way or another” Miller said, adding “I have never seen anything like it–and I have been doing this for over twenty years.”

On the other side though, bill backers insist a special session is the only way of resolving any questions that may have been created by the debate.

“There was an opportunity for this to have been resolved a long time ago, and for there to have been a solution” Jonathan Saenz with Texas Values told KTSA News, casting the blame for where the issue now stands squarely on Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.

“The reality is Texas House members wanted to vote on the privacy issue–but Speaker Straus said no” Saenz said.

“I think it will be clear to people that if Speaker Straus will get out of the way, the Texas House can get their work done” Saenz added.

Whether or not the Governor will include the “Bathroom Bill” as part of a special session is still up in the air.

“I really don’t know” Miller said when asked if she thought he would or wouldn’t.

Saenz seemed more sure–at least about the outcome–if the measure is included as part of any further debate.

“You have legislators that have had about four or five months to become educated on this issue, and they recognize that there is a common sense solution to this problem” Saenz said.

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