TEXAS: Senate Panel Advances Anti-Transgender Bill

The Texas Tribune reports:

After 13-plus hours of emotional testimony, largely in opposition, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to advance the so-called Texas “bathroom bill” to the full chamber. The vote was 7-1; Sen. Judith Zaffirini voted against, and Sen. Charles Schwertner was not present at the meeting but asked to be shown as voting yes.

The vote on Senate Bill 6 — which came at the end of a marathon hearing that began Tuesday morning — means the controversial legislation has cleared its first hurdle in the upper chamber and can be considered by the full Senate, where a majority of conservatives and one Democrat have already signed on to the measure.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick [photo] — who has designated the legislation as a one of his priorities — said on Tuesday that the full Senate is set to take up the measure next week. It remains unclear how far the legislation will get once it’s sent over to the Texas House. On Tuesday, House Speaker Joe Straus reiterated that he’s “not a fan of the bill.”

Hate group leader Tony Perkins was among the Christian extremists who testified in support of the bill.