Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says bathroom bill issue is 'settled,' declares victory

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says the bathroom bill won't be brought up this legislative session. (Photo: CBS Austin)

In a press conference with Gov. Greg Abbott and newly-elected Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the controversial "bathroom bill" brought up in the last Texas Legislative session will not resurface.

"When you win the battle, you don't have to fight the battle again," Patrick said when asked if the bill would be on this year's agenda.

If it had passed, the "bathroom bill" would have - among other things - regulated which bathrooms transgender Texans could use.

Groups against the bill, like the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, say they're relieved it won't be brought up this year.

"We can focus on making Texas an even more friendly place for business, and for LGBT business and its allies," said Chase Kincannon.

Amid that relief, Kincannon also says he is confused by Patrick's assertion they have won the battle.

"They're the ones who brought the bill up in the first place and wanted it passed, and even in a Republican legislative session, there was such an onslaught of support against that bill," Kincannon said.

In the press conference, Patrick said he and other lawmakers in favor of Senate Bill 6 - the "bathroom bill's" official title - accomplished what they wanted, even though it did not pass.

"The truth is, the purpose of that legislation was to stop school districts from forcing boys and girls to share showers and locker rooms, and that stopped," Patrick added.

"The people have spoken, loudly and clearly--sometimes a bill doesn't pass, but you win on the issue," Patrick conceded. "And it was clear where the people were in Texas as they learned more on the issue."

CBS Austin reached out to AISD, and officials there say they look into matters like this on a case-by-case basis for transgender students.

Patrick also said it wasn't a "frivolous" or "controversial" issue, and that many parents and women cared about it.

"I think it's been settled, and I think we've won," said Patrick. "And the people that want to keep talking about it just want to stir up the past."

CBS Austin reporter Christian Flores contributed to this report.

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