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>> The transgender bathroom law that has roiled North Carolina and drawn condemnation from across the United States may not be unique to that state for much longer. Four more states, South Carolina, Alabama, Missouri and Washington state, all have legislation on the table in 2017. That also targets transgender people and their access to bathrooms.
And Reuters reporter, Letitia Stein says, even more states are considering similar bills.>> In Texas, the most populous Republican controlled state, the lieutenant governor has said that passing a bathroom bill is a major priority. He said in statement on Thursday that it is essential to protect the privacy of women and girls, and called it a simple matter of common sense.
There's even talk of a potential ballot initiative in South Dakota for 2018.>> North Carolina's House Bill 2, the first of its kind, bans transgender people from using public restrooms that match their gender identity and the law has lead to a political mess in the state. Legislatures in a one day special session on Wednesday had widely been expected to repeal their controversial law, but the effort fell apart when Republican and Democratic senators could not agree on how to abolish it.
Bathroom legislation has also become a wedge issue within the Republican Party pitting the pro-business branch against social conservatives who have rallied around the measures and see them as protecting common since values. The North Carolina law has lead to lawsuits, economic boycotts and months of protests which are expected to continue in 2017.