Texas Senate Tentatively Approves So-Called ‘Bathroom Bill’

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Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick confers with State Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) and Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) during SB 6 debate on March 14, 2017.

The Texas Senate on Tuesday tentatively signed off on the so-called “bathroom bill” on a 21-10 vote.

Senate Bill 6, a legislative priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and other publicly-owned facilities that match their “biological sex” and not gender identity. And it would preempt local anti-discrimination laws meant to allow transgender residents to use public bathrooms that match their gender identity.

The floor vote came a week after a marathon hearing during which senators heard 13-plus hours of public testimony from hundreds of individuals, largely in opposition, before advancing the legislation to the full Senate.

The upper chamber must still give the legislation a final stamp of approval before sending it on to the House. That vote, known as “third reading,” could come as early as Wednesday.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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