|Texas transphobes Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick|
With all the problems facing the United States and the various states that range from millions of Americans still lacking health insurance, and economy that continues to leave too many behind, to a crumbling infrastructure, there are many serious and legitimate reasons to call a special legislative session. In Republican controlled Texas, however, none of those issues matter. No, only a desire to wage a jihad against transgender students and citizens is the sole motivator for Texas Governor Greg Abbott. True, this is a topic that excites the Christofascists who disproportionately make up the GOP base in Texas and nationally. But it also says something about Abbott. Time and time over the years we have seen that it is Republican elected officials who have their own psycho-sexual issues who are obsessed with gays and transgender citizens and stamping on their rights, if not very existence. And remember: there are ZERO documented cases of sexual misbehavior by transgender individuals in restrooms. ZERO. The same cannot be said for Republican elected officials. Personally, I can only wonder at Abbott's what dark secret or mental illness motivates Abbott. The New York Times looks at the disturbing events in Texas. Here are excerpts:
Gov. Greg Abbott reignited one of the most divisive issues in Texas politics on Tuesday, calling lawmakers back to the Capitol for a special session of the Legislature in part to consider a bill that would reinforce the state’s effort to regulate bathroom use by transgender people in public buildings.
An attempt during the regular session by conservative lawmakers and pastors to pass legislation to regulate bathroom use had been unsuccessful by the time the session ended on Memorial Day. But on Tuesday, Mr. Abbott, a Republican, ordered a 30-day special session starting in July and put on the agenda a bathroom bill that would prevent municipalities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances designed to protect transgender people.
Opponents of bathroom restrictions, including moderate Republicans, say such rules are discriminatory and would cause economic damage similar to that in North Carolina last year after the state passed transgender bathroom restrictions that spurred widespread boycotts and the cancellation of concerts and sporting events. Supporters say the restrictions protect public safety and privacy in public buildings. They believe the predicted economic fallout has been exaggerated.
“At a minimum, we need a law that protects the privacy of our children in our public schools,” Mr. Abbott told reporters at the Capitol in Austin.
Chuck Smith, the chief executive of the gay rights group Equality Texas, said Mr. Abbott’s decision would harm already vulnerable transgender people. “This is a 100 percent political issue, and the only reason for it is to target, demonize and stigmatize transgender people,” Mr. Smith said. Because the Legislature failed to pass the bill during the regular session, it effectively died; its only chance for survival had been a special session, and only a governor has the authority to convene one.
In doing so, Mr. Abbott ignored the concerns of local and national business leaders but earned swift praise from social conservatives, some of whom had complained that he had remained largely on the sidelines in the debate. Critics said Mr. Abbott, a former judge who is viewed by many as more cautious than his predecessor, Rick Perry, had capitulated to the extreme right, and to one of his Republican colleagues, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who led the push for the restrictions.
[T]he chief executives of more than a dozen companies, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook, warned Mr. Abbott in a letter that they were “gravely concerned” that any bathroom-related legislation would hurt the state’s business-friendly reputation. On Tuesday, the gay rights organization Glaad denounced the special session. Democrats criticized the governor for jeopardizing the state’s business-oriented brand. “My take is that he is clearly panicked about the far right, and he feels the need to shovel as much red meat to the far right of his party as he can,” said State Representative Chris Turner, a Democrat. . . .
[The bill] would effectively ban local regulation of discrimination. The bill would prohibit cities, counties and school districts from passing anti-discrimination measures to protect any class of people already protected under state law. And it would nullify existing policies in San Antonio, Dallas and other cities that allow transgender people to use the public bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Note how Republicans, the supposed champions of local control will not allow localities to make their own decisions, at least not any that challenge the bigotry and embrace of ignorance of their Christofascist supporters. If this bill passes, Texas will be added to the list of places that the husband and I will avoid - even for connecting air flights.