To Keep U.S. a 'Beacon of Hope,' Texas State Sen. Backs 'Bathroom Bill'

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Photo: Twitter / @DonnaCampbellTX

(EDGE) North Carolina Gov. Pat McCory finally conceded Monday to losing the gubernatorial race to Democratic rival Roy Cooper, who will likely dismantle the highly controversial HB2 bill McCory signed into law.

The measure limited protections to LGBT people and also prevent transgender people from using public facilities, like restrooms, that correspond with their gender identity. Though Cooper may nix the measure, similar bills are popping up all over the country, including Texas.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick will make a "bathroom bill" a top priority in 2017, the Texas Observer reports, and Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, who represents portions of San Antonio, is calling the anti-transgender measure a "beacon of hope" for the state.

Speaking at a panel discussion with the newspaper, Campbell said she supported Patrick's proposed measure and dismissed backlash. After North Carolina passed HB2 earlier this year, the NCAA moved the 2017 edition of its Final Four men's basketball championship out of Charlotte to denounce the anti-LGBT bill. Other companies also pulled out of the state, reportedly costing North Carolina millions of dollars.

In San Antonio, there have been concerns that the Alamo City could lose the 2018 Final Four, which would reportedly bring in $75 million to the city, if the "bathroom bill" is passed in 2017.

"I'd like to see Texas values not hijacked for the sake of football, basketball," Campbell told the Texas Observer. "We have got a great state, provides hope for many, that's why they're coming here all the time, and we've got a business climate that everybody comes to. But we do have to draw the line to maintain those values that not only keep Texas, but keep the United States, that beacon of hope."

Campbell added that business, churches and nonprofits should create their own guidelines for bathroom access, saying they should be "unencumbered" by local nondiscrimination laws. She said if a business allows trans people to use their bathroom that correspond with their gender identity, the business needs to "put the signage out there so it's clear to the public."

The Texas Observer points out the lawmaker was against San Antonio's 2013 nondiscrimination ordinance, calling it an attempt "to criminalize faith and traditional values of the majority of Texans." She is also very supportive of "religious freedom," writing an amendment to the Texas Constitution in 2015 that some say would allow businesses to openly refuse service to LGBT people.

Despite her support for anti-LGBT measures, the newspaper notes House Speaker Joe Straus said Patrick's "bathroom bill" is not among the priorities for the 2017, saying he doesn't want to put the Final Four championship in jeopardy.


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