Big Victory for Transgender Texans and Allies as Special Session Ends with No Movement on Discriminatory Bills August 16, 2017

Our allies in Texas are celebrating a big victory today against a slew of anti-transgender bills, and in New Hampshire, we’re celebrating right along with them.

Since the Texas Legislature convened in January, the state’s own Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, has been saying that passing a “bathroom ban” that would prohibit transgender people from using public facilities was his top legislative priority.

A massive coalition of progressive advocacy organizations from across a range of issues—LGBTQ advocacy, women’s rights, immigrants and labor rights, and more—as well as business groups successfully fended off this legislation during the regular session that ended in May.

But anti-LGBTQ extremists weren’t about to let their banner issue go, so they pressured the Governor into calling a special session, and threw everything they had at this last-ditch attempt to target transgender Texans for discrimination.  

So the same coalition of fair-minded Texans—including more than 50,000 grassroots supporters—sprang into action again, playing defense day after day as one anti-transgender bill would fall only for another to start gaining traction in its place.

Yesterday, that tireless defense paid off in a spectacular fashion, as the Legislature abruptly gaveled out a full day early without passing a “bathroom ban” and with no immediate plans to renew the fight, though advocates are already preparing for the issue to rear its head during next year’s legislative session.

What this strong, dedicated coalition has been able to do in Texas this year is nothing short of amazing, and we hope it gives everyone working to advance #TransBillNH a burst of inspiration as we turn our attention to our own legislative session.

Texas and New Hampshire couldn’t be more different. Texas is one of the most socially conservative states in the nation, where lawmakers frequently claim they’re interested in small government but push relentlessly to target LGBTQ people and others with big government overreach.

In New Hampshire, on the other hand, we value small government—and we mean it. We value the ability of people to live free and be treated fairly, and that includes living free from the threat of discrimination. If a majority of Texans and Texas lawmakers can reject anti-transgender discrimination, surely we can too—by passing #TransBillNH.

The first day for lawmakers to file bills is October 12th, and we’ll be working every day until then to ensure that our coalition—and the support from lawmakers—is strong and growing.