Texas House offers replacement for Senate ‘bathroom bill’


Bobby Cervantes and Andrea Zelinski,

April 14, 2017-

Entering the fray over where transgender Texans can use public bathrooms, a far-reaching bill that a powerful House committee is scheduled to hear next week would rescind several local ordinances aimed at protecting LGBT people from discrimination. The one-page proposal, House Bill 2899, would prohibit cities and counties from passing non-discrimination ordinances and would not allow them to add or subtract to the classes of people already protected under state law. Authored by Republican Rep. Ron Simmons of Carrollton, the bill also would nullify all local non-discrimination measures across Texas that do not conform to the state’s standards.

Current Texas law includes only race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin and age as protected classes. Simmons’ chief of staff said Thursday that the lawmaker was not available to discuss his bill because he had already left Austin for the Easter holiday. His legislation is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday in the House State Affairs Committee.

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