Over the past days, Texas Republicans have advanced a pair of baldly anti-LGBTQ measures, both of which are expected to be signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.
On Monday, the Texas State House passed a bill that would bar transgender students in public and charter schools from using the restroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity, forcing them to use a single-stall bathroom instead. According to the Washington Post, the bill would override any school which currently allows trans students to use the correct restroom.
The measure, a modified version of a more expansive bill that passed the state Senate, was approved largely down party lines by a vote of 91-50. It comes in part as a response to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s threat to hold up Texas’ budget if the bill didn’t pass—an issue for which Patrick has been vocally (if somewhat bizarrely) in favor for over a year.
In response to the measure, a group of female Democratic lawmakers staged a short protest in the men’s bathroom of the Texas statehouse.
The measure now heads back to the Senate, where it is expected to be passed.
Also on Monday, Texas House Republicans were joined by three Democratic colleagues to pass HR 3859, a “religious freedom” measure that protects state-funded adoption and foster agencies from “adverse action” if they refuse to send children to certain homes based on their religious beliefs. And since, as Think Progress notes, Texas does not protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation, an agency could deny adoption for a family based solely on whether the prospective parents were gay and not lose its license.
“HB 3859 permits broad discrimination in a state that has an extremely diverse population while doing a grave disservice to the children it is attempting to help,” Reggie Greer, Director of Constituent Engagement at the LGBTQ advocacy group Victory Institute, explained in an essay published last week.
Should the bill be signed into law by Gov. Abbott, as is expected, HB 3859 would go into effect on September 1.