Early Wins for LGBTQ Equality at the Beginning of Legislative Sessions
Proposed anti-transgender bathroom ban laws were shot down today in Indiana and Virginia, and the House Speaker in Texas said a similar proposal was not a high priority and warned that it could be bad for business.
“People across the political spectrum are beginning to understand that discrimination is bad for business and that transgender people should have the same, fair opportunity to provide for themselves and their families as everyone else,” said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director. “All of us, including the transgender woman who lives every day as the woman she is, should be able to go to work, out to dinner and to see a movie with her family without fear of discrimination.”
Indiana Representative Cindy Kirchhofer, chair of the Public Health Committee to which the anti-transgender bill, HB 1361, was assigned, said she would not hear the bill due to other pressing priorities.
In Virginia, lawmakers voted down an anti-transgender bathroom ban with a voice vote. James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia said, “We applaud this decision by the House committee and recognize decisions like these keep Virginia on the path to full equality. We are pleased to see members of both parties stepping forward to make sure this bill was dead on arrival, causing no further harm to the transgender community.” Unfortunately, a workplace nondiscrimination bill was also killed today, and a discriminatory religious exemptions bill made it through a committee vote.
Meanwhile, Texas House Speaker, Republican Joe Straus, voiced concerns about a bathroom ban in his state saying, “Let’s look at the details, but if it creates a situation as North Carolina went through, my enthusiasm would not be high for it.” Greensboro, North Carolina Mayor Nancy Vaughan was also in Austin today to speak against the proposed law warning about the economic impacts her state city experienced.
Business leaders in all three states have been speaking out about the potential economic impacts of passing discriminatory legislation such as anti-transgender bathroom bans, as North Carolina’s infamous HB 2 has cost the state millions of dollars in lost revenue.
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