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Texas "bathroom bill" unveiled ahead of 2017 session

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas lawmakers will decide whether to embrace an issue that caused a national uproar in North Carolina: banning transgendered people from using the bathroom of their choice. 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a top social conservative voice in the state, unveiled the proposed law Thursday at a news conference.

Patrick says the “Privacy Protection Act” is a top priority for the GOP-controlled Legislature, which convenes next week.

Lawmakers likely will support it, even though Texas’ largest business lobbying group says it and other anti-gay rights proposals could cost the state up to $8.5 billion and 100,000-plus jobs. 

The group pointed to a study on estimated losses that also said tourism would be greatly affected, CBS Austin affiliate KEYE reported in December. The study was partly based on the effect of a bathroom bill that passed in North Carolina.

“Don’t North Carolina my Texas,” State Representative Celia Israel said, according to KEYE.

North Carolina faced boycotts, and potentially billions of dollars in lost state revenue, after passing ts own version last year.

A Virginia lawmaker introduced similar legislation this week. State Delegate Bob Marshall filed a bill proposing that “...subject to certain exceptions, no individual shall enter a restroom or other facility designated for use by members of the opposite sex” in a government building, CBS Richmond affiliate WTVR reported.

LGBTQ advocates have called the proposed bill a possible threat to Virginia if it passes.  

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