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Texas 'bathroom bill' may shape 2018 GOP primary campaigns

(PHOTO: CBS Austin)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Transgender "bathroom bills" have fizzled in deep-red states across America, but the issue is still white hot in Texas.

The Republican-controlled Legislature is heading into a special session prepared to revive a bill requiring transgender people to use public restrooms according to their birth-certificate gender.

Conservative groups are vowing revenge during the 2018 GOP primaries against Republicans who don't support it.

But whether or not Texas eventually enacts such a law, the issue is looming large over Republican primaries set for March.

Powerful business entities, from Apple to the NFL, oppose such a bill as discriminatory. But insurgent candidates have promised to brand lawmakers who dare reject it -- or try to remain neutral -- as soft on social issues dear to conservatives.

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