Texas Governor Greg Abbott isn’t backing down when it comes to keeping transgender citizens from using the bathroom they identify with. It’s been a hot-button issue ever since North Carolina passed HB2, which some call the most “anti-LGBT” legislation in the country.
HB2, otherwise known as the “bathroom bill” says that people can only legally use the public restroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate. It further prevents North Carolina municipalities from passing their own legislation to protect the trans community from discrimination and even rolls back employment protections for the LGBT community. In response to the legislation, which became law in March, dozens of businesses, individuals, entertainers and even cities boycotted the state in protest.
Target Corporation responded to the ban with a policy change of its own, publicly coming out in favor of trans rights and saying that in Target stores, transgender customers and employees are welcome to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable in. Target’s announcement spawned yet another boycott, this time against the nation’s second-largest retail chain. Despite the public backlash that includes threats by conservative activists to use Target bathrooms while armed, conservative groups deliberately sending men in to “investigate” Target ladies’ rooms, and even secretly-recorded videos of men being told by Target security that they can use the women’s restroom, Target has stood by its policy and the company’s CEO has spoken out against anti-LGBT discrimination.
— THE POLITISTICK (@ThePolitiStick) May 14, 2016
In the midst of the war of wills, the Obama Administration stepped into the North Carolina bathroom bill battle, sending the state a letter stating that HB2 violates federal law, and telling North Carolina that if HB2 continued to be enforced the state would be sued. North Carolina’s governor responded to the ultimatum with a lawsuit of his own, and the matter is currently being left for the courts to decide.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 13, 2016
After North Carolina refused to comply with the U.S. Justice Department’s order to stop enforcing HB2, the Obama Administration stepped in again on May 13. The administration sent out a letter to schools nationwide, reports CNN, issuing guidance that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom they identify with. Texas Governor Greg Abbott isn’t pleased with the advice, and he has vowed to fight for North Carolina, even hinting that Texas may soon be seeing similar legislation under the guidance of Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
On May 12, Texas Governor Greg Abbott stood before attendees at the Texas Republican Convention and promised that as the Texas Governor, he would help North Carolina fight the feds. He told thousands of delegates at the Republican Party of Texas event that it’s time for him to “get involved.”
“Obama is turning bathrooms into courtroom issues. I want you to know that I am working with the governor of North Carolina, and we are going to fight back.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott was joined with his Lt. Governor Patrick, and it was the Lt. Governor who directly promised the crowd that Texas will be looking into its own anti-trans legislation to “keep men out of ladies’ rooms.” The Lt. Governor of Texas went on to tell those in attendance that the proposed legislation will be passed next year by Texas lawmakers, reports the Star-Telegram.
“Just so you’re not confused, when you go to the restroom, the m does not stand for ‘make up your mind,’ and the w doesn’t stand for ‘whatever.'”
In addition to using the Thursday convention to espouse his anti-trans Texas bathroom agenda, Texas Governor Greg Abbott used his time at the podium to encourage Texas Republicans to rally behind the presumed Republican presidential nominee following the withdrawal of Texas Senator Ted Cruz from the presidential race. The Texas Governor refrained from using Donald Trump’s name, but his message was clear.
“Now, Ted may have come up short, but that does not end the war. America does not have the luxury to get this election wrong. Republicans must unite to prevent Hillary from continuing the Obama agenda. We need to come to grips with the reality.”
When it comes to transgender bathroom rights, though, Donald Trump has done some flip-flopping on the issue himself. The Texas Governor may not remember that not too long ago, Donald Trump said that transgender folks should use the bathroom they want. Following an explosive backlash from his conservative Republican base, however, The Donald changed his tune.
“I love North Carolina, and they have a law, and it’s a law that, you know, unfortunately is causing them some problems. And I fully understand that they want to go through, but they are losing business, and they are having people come out against.
“I think that local communities and states should make the decision. And I feel very strongly about that. The federal government should not be involved.”
Apparently, Texas Governor Greg Abbott decided to selectively recall Trump’s stance on trans bathroom use and forgot that the real estate billionaire also said that if Caitlyn Jenner came to Trump Tower, she was welcome to use the ladies room. That offer was one that Jenner took Trump up on when visiting Trump International Hotel.
The Governor of Texas has yet to comment on how voting for Donald Trump will help to support North Carolina’s bathroom bill fight.
What do you think? Is Texas Governor Greg Abbott correct, or does banning trans people from using the bathroom they identify with infringe on their civil rights as the Obama Administration contends?
[Image Courtesy Of Erich Schlegel/Getty Images]