Here’s Why Lawmakers Are Backing Off Transgender Bathroom Bills In 2018

Grace Carr | Reporter

Lawmakers, especially those in the South, are backing away from legislative efforts to impose transgender bathroom bills in schools, businesses and elsewhere in an effort to focus resources and energy on less contentious issues.

Few social bills, including transgender bathroom bills, have been introduced in states so far in 2018 and those that have been pending have seen little movement. Advocacy groups and researchers indicate that a “combination of fear, fatigue and legislative mathematics appear to be behind the shift,” according to The New York Times. Legislators are instead seeking to devote funds to more “practical” issues like education and infrastructure that don’t bear the burden of heavy social tension, the NYT reported Monday.

Transgender bathroom bills have been popular with conservative voters, however, big businesses have often opposed such measures. The laws typically require people to use the bathroom associated with their birth gender.

North Carolina has seen considerable backlash from corporations and businesses, for whom said bathroom bills divert energy and resources to social platforms that could otherwise be used for a different purpose.

Mississippi state Rep. Greg Snowden, a Republican, also explained that given states have so many important legislative actions on their agendas, repeatedly going to war in social battles isn’t fruitful. “You can’t go to war on everything all the time,” he said, the NYT reported.

Other states have also seen a decrease in efforts to push conservative social bills. A bathroom bill has been pending in committee for over a year in South Carolina, and a Tennessee lawmaker recently withdrew his proposal to back school officials who impose bathroom policies. “After you have a bill come up two or three years in a row, or an issue, you sort of lose the fervor,” said Steven Dickerson, a Republican Tennessee state senator. (RELATED: California Could Start Jailing People Who Don’t Use Transgender Pronouns)

“I think people are tempering, and I think they’re thinking harder about what can be achieved, what needs to be achieved,” University of Illinois law professor Robin Fretwell Wilson told the NYT.

Follow Grace on Twitter.

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