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Debate over the bathroom bill continues

GOP pushing to pass bill in special session

Good Morning El Paso Debate over the...

EL PASO, Texas - The so-called bathroom bill is being debated in the Texas Legislative special session after the measure failed in the regular session in May.

Republican lawmakers backing the bill are pushing to get it passed by the time the special session ends August 16.

The bathroom bill would require everyone to use public bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate.

The rule would apply to government buildings and public schools, while cities and counties would be banned from passing their own anti-discrimination policies.

"I think this bill is unnecessary, very unnecessary. If it were to pass, it would be an uneducated and discriminatory decision," Jocelyn Stout told ABC-7, a 17-year-old transgender teen.

Jocelyn was born a boy, but said she always knew she was different. She started her transition into a female, with hormones, two years ago.

"Being transgender doesn't define your entire existence. It's basically like a trait, like your hair color or your eye color," Jocelyn said.

"Those people represent only four percent of the total population, what about the other 96 percent," said Adolpho Telles, chairman for the El Paso Republican party.

Telles said the bill "protects the rights of the majority."

Last Friday, a Senate State Affairs committee passed the bill despite hundreds who lined up to testify against the bill. The full Senate is expected to pass the bill.

"People fear what they don't understand and it's a shame. It's a lack of education or a lack of learning," said Michele Amezcua, Jocelyn's mother.

"Everybody has the right to be what they want to be, there's never been an argument about that. You also have to respect the rights of all the other people around," Telles said.

Dozens of corporations including Apple, IBM and the NFL have publicly opposed the bill.

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