Finally, some good news. Texas Senate Bill 3, the so-called bathroom bill, which LGBTQ rights advocates and major Texas companies like American Airlines and AT&T had opposed, failed to make it out of the House yesterday, the final day of the state’s special legislative session. The bill is effectively dead.
The contentious bill would have required people to use restrooms and facilities that matched the sex on their birth certificates. Moderate voices said Texas would face a similar economic/social backlash like the one faced by North Carolina in 2016. North Carolina lawmakers repealed the bill one year later, after business leaders, entertainers and sports groups boycotted the state and condemned the law.
JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president for policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement, “We hope that this time, this issue remains settled: Texans don’t want harmful, anti-transgender legislation. First and foremost, these bills were defeated because of the many voices that came out in opposition, saying, ‘Don’t discriminate in the Lone Star State.’ Luckily for Texas, this chorus of voices was louder than the voices pushing for discrimination.”
Business leaders were among the fiercest, most vocal opponents of the bill. Tech giant IBM ran a full-page ad in local publications in July that said the company “opposes any measure that would harm the state’s LGBT+ community and make it difficult for businesses to attract and retain talented Texans.”
The measures were blocked by moderate House Republicans. Adoption by Texas, the most populous red state, would have fed momentum in other socially conservative states on the issue, a flashpoint in the U.S. culture wars.