Texas leaders feud over trans rights

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, and Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus. AP Photo, Stephen Spillman.

Austin, Texas (AP) — The driving force in Texas behind a "bathroom bill" is pushing back after the Republican House speaker was quoted as saying he didn't want a "suicide" on his hands over efforts to restrict what restrooms transgender people can use.

A spokeswoman for Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Monday that "no one wants to see harm to anyone" and said the bill isn't about discrimination. His office was responding to a New Yorker article that quoted House Speaker Joe Straus as saying he didn't want the "suicide of a single Texan on my hands."

Straus for months has railed against a "bathroom bill" and has been blamed by Patrick for sinking the measure.

Straus' comments in the magazine echo concerns raised by LGBT rights groups that such efforts marginalize a group of people who at least one recent survey has shown attempt suicide at a higher-than-average rate.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has asked lawmakers to revive the bill this summer.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

The Gayly – July 5, 2017 @ 7:35 a.m.