Texas House of Representatives Speaker Blocks Controversial Bathroom Bill
Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, blocked Gov. Abbott's bathroom bill from passing during the House's regular session.
In an interview with The New Yorker, Straus, a Republican, recalled his encounter with the lieutenant governor’s office when he was told he'd have to pass the governor's bill requiring Texans to use the restroom of the gender they were born in, specifically in government run facilities like schools. Straus told the office,
I’m not a lawyer, but I am a Texan. I’m disgusted by all this. Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.
Though Straus was able to block the bill for now, it is believed Gov. Abbott will attempt to reintroduce the bill during the upcoming special session of the house, which Straus indicated he had a plan on how to block it again.
While supporters of the bill might believe Straus' fear isn't a big enough reason to block a bill like this, a recent survey indicates that a direct relationship between such a law and increased suicides is a real possibility. As reported by the Independent, in December the largest survey conducted of transgender people revealed that 40 percent of those interviewed had tried to commit suicide as a result of "pervasive discrimination and harassment", which many believe will be caused by the passing of this bathroom bill.