A prominent national LGBT organization is threatening to oust Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over his support for a bill that would require Texans to use public bathrooms that match their birth-certificate gender.
The Human Rights Campaign tweeted Friday to Abbott, “ask ousted @PatMcCroryNC how a similar anti-LGBTQ bill worked out for his career and state’s economy. Texans deserve better!”
It’s a tactic that gay activists believe is working. McCrory lost his re-election bid in 2016 and LGBT organizers have taken the credit, citing his support for North Carolina’s controversial HB2 bathroom law that lawmakers later repealed.
They’ve also taken the credit for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of a religious freedom bill last year.
Abbott has named SB6, the Texas Privacy Act, as one of his top 20 legislative priorities for the special session underway this month.
Several national companies, including IBM, Apple and Facebook, have pressured Texas lawmakers to oppose the legislation but supporters of the privacy bill say that Texans themselves support it.
They cite a 2015 ordinance vote in Houston where 60 percent voted against a law that would allow transgender people to use the public bathroom of their choice.
Seven hundred pastors across the state are speaking out in favor of the privacy act and polling data from Republican Lt. Governor Dan Patrick shows that more than two-thirds of Texans say it should be illegal for a man to enter a women’s restroom.
Lawmakers failed to pass the bill in the spring and many conservatives blame House Speaker Joe Straus, a moderate Republican, who opposes the legislation.
But conservative lobbyist Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, says its chances are much better during the month-long summer session. “The governor is much more involved,” he said, “it will pass.”