A Comparative Analysis of the Failure of Bathroom Legislation Aimed at the Transgender Community in Three States: Indiana, North Carolina, and Texas




Pohlmeyer, Corey J.

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In recent political history, the ever-polarizing ideological nature of the United States is marked by the continued public involvement in certain key issues, which perpetuate across the country. One of these issues are regulatory measures or laws pertaining to the public access of restrooms in educational, governmental, or publicly-owned facilities, informally known as “bathroom bills.” These bills, between the dates of 2013-2018, have appeared in state legislatures across the United States; and their stories are notably marked by one thing: their abject failure. Using sources from a variety of media outlets, this paper attempts to construct narratives for three states which have encountered such legislation: Indiana, North Carolina, and Texas. Using these narratives, this paper hopes to provide some insight into this controversial wave of legislation without taking any sides in the arguments which surround it. Doing this, while also looking at the state governmental operations and procedure provide insight as to how these bills both succeeded and failed in their attempts to create policy. Ultimately, these narratives show that the downfall of these bills rests in their lack of support by the public at large, with notable influence by individuals and organizations with economic and public relation capabilities, but cannot show which reason was the death blow to these bills. While this paper was not able to ascertain which factor was the determinant cause, it does provide insight, framework, and context to this phenomenon, and how this wave may progress or not in the near future.



bathroom bills, Texas, government, legislation, North Carolina, state legislatures, Indiana, Honors College


Pohlmeyer, C. J. (2018). A comparative analysis of the failure of bathroom legislation aimed at the transgender community in three states: Indiana, North Carolina, and Texas (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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