Texas Speaker Strauss in the New Yorker

For those who would like to have a better understanding of the process of the Texas legislature, I suggest reading this Lawrence Wright piece in the New Yorker.

The thing that concerns me is the near-total loss of influence of the business community, which allows really bad ideas like the bathroom bill to fill the void.

C.E.O.s have stopped coming to the capitol to engage directly. They now work only through lobbyists.

--Speaker Straus

Joe Straus is the most prominent Jewish politician in Texas history. He is serious about his opposition to Greg Abbott's bathroom bills.

I’m not a lawyer, but I am a Texan. I’m disgusted by all this. Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.

Opponents of the bathroom bill argued that it would allow schools and localities to discriminate against people based upon gender, and that that would impact the mental health and safety of transgender people there.

The assessment that the bill could lead to suicidal thoughts, or actual suicide attempts, is supported by the largest survey of transgender people ever conducted, in December. That survey found that pervasive discrimination and harassment — a situation that critics say would be created by the bathroom bill — led 40 percent of respondents to say they’d tried to kill themselves at some point.

Mr Straus was able to block the bill from being passed during the regular session of the Texas legislature — which was a deeply divisive term for politicians there in light of the election of President Donald Trump — but Mr Abbott may still introduce another bathroom bill during an upcoming special session of the legislature. It is unclear if Mr Straus will continue his opposition, but he signaled in the New Yorker article that he had a strategy to do so.

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