Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is stepping up to defend North Carolina's anti-LGBT House Bill 2 and teasing that his state might adopt a similar law.
HB 2 requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that do not match their gender identity. The legislation, introduced, passed, and signed into law in less than 12 hours on March 23, also rescinds all existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, prohibits new ones, and bars residents from suing for discrimination in state court.
On Thursday, Abbott, speaking at the Texas GOP convention in Dallas, told delegates. "I am working with the governor of North Carolina, and we are going to fight back," reports Odessa TV station KOSA.
A superintendent of the Port Neches-Groves school district in Texas spoke out Thursday against the Obama administration's new guidance for public schools, directing that transgender students are protected against discrimination by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. He told Beaumont TV station KBMT:
"I got news for President Barack Obama. He ain't my president and he can't tell me what to do. That letter [to be released to all public schools tomorrow] is going straight to the paper shredder. I have five daughters myself and I have 2,500 girls in my protection. Their moms and dads expect me to protect them. And that is what I am going to do. Now I don't want them bullied ... but there are accommodations that can be made short of this. He [President Obama] is destroying the very fiber of this country. He is not a leader. He is a failure."
On Tuesday, the lieutenant governor and the attorney general of Texas announced their support of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and HB 2.
The federal government announced that it is suing North Carolina over HB 2 on Monday, just hours after Gov. Pat McCrory announced his own federal suit against the Department of Justice for threatening the state's federal funding because HB 2 violates existing civil rights protections against discrimination based on sex in employment and education. The federal government announced Wednesday that it would not be withholding federal funds from North Carolina while the legal battle wages on.