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In this photo taken Thursday, May 12, 2016, signage is seen outside a restroom at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C. North Carolina is in a legal battle over a state law that requires transgender people to use the public restroom matching the sex on their birth certificate. The ADA-compliant bathroom signs were designed by artist Peregrine Honig. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Anti-transgender 'bathroom bills' are making a comeback in several states

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Anti-transgender 'bathroom bills' are making a comeback in several states

Watch  | The place you pee is about to get political -- again.

Bathroom bills in 7 states

Less than one week into 2017, lawmakers in at least seven states have filed so-called "bathroom bills" -- proposals that attempt to regulate which public restroom transgender Americans can use. 

It's a continuation of a nation-wide controversy that started last year when North Carolina passed HB2, the now-infamous bill prohibiting transgender Americans from using public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. 

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks to supporters as his wife Ann McCrory listens at an election rally in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. The race between McCrory and Democrat Roy Cooper remains too close to call. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

North Carolina's law inspired a national backlash that caused many businesses to boycott the state, costing it an estimated $400 million. The bill also contributed to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s defeat on Election Day last year.

A priority in Texas

The most high-profile case this year is in Texas. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican, said the newly-introduced bill in his state would prevent women from being sexually assaulted. It has been marked as a top legislative priority.

"We know we are on the right side of the issue, we are on the right side of history," Patrick said.

No assault problem

Patrick also admitted, however, that there have been no problems with transgender people committing sexual assault in bathrooms. 

“Transgender people have obviously been going into the ladies’ room for a long time, and there hasn’t been an issue that I know of,” he said. “But if laws are passed ... that allow men to go into a bathroom because of the way they feel, we will not be able to stop sexual predators from taking advantage of that law.”


Backlash beginning

Business and civil rights groups in Texas have already started speaking out against the measure, deemed SB6.

"Make no mistake the invidious intent of SB6 is to deny transgender Texans the ability to participate in public life," said Rebecca L. Robertson, the legal and policy director for the ACLU of Texas.

The Texas Association of Business has come out against the bill as well.

Not just Texas

But Texas isn't the only state considering a so-called "bathroom bill" this year. On Tuesday, a Democratic lawmaker in Kentucky introduced a bill  that would require public schools, state universities, state government and local governments to require their bathrooms "only be used by persons based on their biological sex."

In Alabama, a Republican senator introduced legislation to force public institutions to hire security guards to protect gender neutral bathrooms.

More states pile on

Virginia also has a "bathroom bill" on its docket. The bill proposed by Republican Del. Robert G. Marshall not only dictates which bathroom transgender people should use, but would require school principals to notify a parent if a student comes out as transgender.

Lawmakers in Missouri, South Carolina, and Washington  have also proposed related bills they hope will be considered this year.


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