Texas Lt. Gov. did everything he could possibly do during the 85th Texas Legislature in 2017 to force lawmakers to pass an anti-transgender bathroom bill, up to and including holding important legislation vital to the operations of the state hostage to try and get his way.
Thanks to a lot of hard work on behalf of LGBT activists and their allies, and thanks to the fact that there were some reasonable Republicans — like then House Speaker Joe Straus — in the Legislature, none of the several bathroom bills introduced and pushed by Patrick and his minions were passed into law.
But since the legislature is still under GOP control, and since Patrick is still in office, we’ve all been worried that the bathroom boogey-man bills would be back this time around.
Gov. Greg Abbott said during a debate last summer with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez that such measures weren’t a priority on his agenda for 2019. But still we worried.
No bathroom bills were pre-filed in the Legislature before the 2019 session began this week. But still we worried.
And now Patrick himself says there is no need to introduce any bathroom bills this year. But hey, I’m not taking his word for it. No way I am gonna trust that sneaky fu…. uh, fellow and his minions.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, at the Governor’s Mansion, according to the Texas Tribune, Patrick said there’s no need to introduce a bathroom bill this year because — get this — the bill’s proponents already won.
(Just FYI, no bathroom bill has been passed by the Texas Legislature, and in fact, public opinion in 2017 was, in general, against passage of such a bill.)
Sitting next to Abbott and newly-elected House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, an Angleton Republican who has reportedly told LGBT advocates he would not support a bathroom bill, Patrick said Wednesday, “When you win the battle, you don’t have to fight the battle again. I think it’s been settled, and I think we’ve won. … Sometimes a bill doesn’t pass but you win on the issue.”
Patrick claimed that the “behavior” in Texas’ public school districts that had caused him to push for a bathroom bill had “stopped,” but didn’t say exactly what that behavior was, nor did he cite any evidence to prove his claim it had stopped and the bigots had “won” on the issue. Well, seeing as how the Republicans definitely did not “win” on bathroom bills in Austin, I’d say that Dan Patrick — who went to D.C. Tuesday to discuss “border security” with Trump before Trump’s address on the issue Tuesday night — has managed to pick up some “alternative fact” tricks from Trump.
— Tammye Nash