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    SPORTS -  NBA joins NFL to warn Texas over transgender bathroom bill

     AUSTIN According to the Dallas Morning News,  put the NBA on the growing list of sports organizations warning Texas over its proposed transgender bathroom bill.
In a statement to the Houston Chronicle last week, spokesman Mike Bass said the NBA weighs a number of factors before choosing where to hold major events, including how fans and athletes will be treated.
     "We consider a wide range of factors when making decisions about host locations for league-wide events like the All-Star Game foremost among them is ensuring the environment where those who participate and attend are treated fairly and equally," Bass said.
     The NBA has come out against anti-LGBT bills in the past, moving Sunday's NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans after lawmakers in North Carolina passed their own version of the transgender bathroom bill into law. Texas isn't scheduled to host any major NBA events in the near future, but Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban supported the decision to move the All-Star Game and even offered up Dallas as an alternative.

    The NBA's warning was issued at the same time that the NFL said state laws that conflict with the league's commitment to embrace inclusiveness could be a deciding factor in where major events like the Super Bowl are held. While the NFL statement to the Chronicle was widely reported, the NBA's remarks were largely missed but were re-reported by Fox Business on Friday.
     The NFL's warning became an instant lightning rod, with conservatives blasting the league for weighing in on the issue. Gov. Greg Abbott, who was largely mum on the bathroom bill before the NFL weighed in, has become particularly outspoken since, this week suggesting he would proposed passing a law requiring NFL players to stand during the national anthem if the league decided to boycott Texas.

     Texas' bathroom bill, sponsored by Brenham Republican Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, would let organizations like the NFL and NCAA set their own bathroom policies at convention centers or arenas in Texas, but would prohibit cities from passing local laws to safeguard transgender rights in those venues' restrooms. It would also prohibit trans Texans from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity in public schools and government buildings.
      Business groups, including Dallas' convention and visitors bureau, have derided the bill as "discriminatory," saying it would create the perception that Texas does not value the rights of its LGBT community.
     And advocates say even proposing such legislation encourages attacks against the transgender community, which studies have shown is already particularly at risk to bullying, discrimination and even violence.

"I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great of a burden to bear." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

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