New Yorker’s Lawrence Wright: Here’s What Speaker Straus Told me on ‘Bathroom Bill’

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Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Rep. Joe Straus makes remarks after being being sworn in for his fifth term as speaker of the Texas House on Jan. 10, 2017.

During a Tuesday interview on Texas Standard, a statewide news magazine based out of KUT Austin, author Lawrence Wright talked with The Texas Tribune‘s Alana Rocha about “America’s Future is Texas,” his latest piece in The New Yorker.

In the article, Wright – a longtime staff writer for the magazine – includes the following quote from House Speaker Joe Straus about the “bathroom bill,” controversial legislation slated for the special legislative session that would regulate which bathrooms transgender Texans can use:

“I’m not a lawyer, but I am a Texan,” Straus said. “I’m disgusted by all this. Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.”

In this clip, Wright talks about his exchange with the speaker.

Listen to the full interview with Lawrence Wright on

One thought on “New Yorker’s Lawrence Wright: Here’s What Speaker Straus Told me on ‘Bathroom Bill’

  1. According to Lawrence Wright, Joe Straus’ firm opposition to the so-called “bathroom bill” is based upon his “perspective [as] a business oriented conservative.”

    Conversely, it’s Dan Patrick who claims the role as a “movement social conservative” [sic].

    Now suddenly, with the pro-business argument losing steam, Straus is attempting to regain the advantage by offering a measure of concern for those who choose suicide as a means of escape while (presumably) maintaining pressure on the for-profit front.

    Generally speaking, professional politicians are not to be trusted, especially those offering calculated off-the-cuff remarks, bolstered by emotion. Still, it’s to be expected, being a time-proven part of the game.

    My basic objection is to Straus’ adaptation of the Biblical metaphor, “blood on one’s hands.” The prophet Ezekiel clearly states (an example being in chapter 3, verses 18 through 21) that it isn’t the one placating the worldly who washes his hands clean of blood, but the one who steadfastly warns others of impending doom if they refuse to repent.

    Unless Straus desires for the word of God to be used as evidence in the debate, he may wish to be more careful when choosing his source material.

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