Joe Straus, the Speaker of the House of Texas, was awarded this week for his efforts to thwart two transphobic bathroom bills that would force transgender people to use the bathroom that match their biological sex, according to Dallas News.
Straus is retiring after this year and as a final act of kindness, he refused to pass two transphobic bathroom bills in 2017. The American Unity Fund granted him the Champions of Freedom Award.
Before weighing in on the human rights aspect of the bills, he focused mainly on how the bills would potentially negatively impact businesses. He then realized how negatively it woule affect transgender Texans. Supporters of the bills used the disingenuous argument that if the bills weren't passed that men could enter the women's room and sexually assault women and girls.
However, Straus wwarned Texans to not celebrate yet, as he feels that similar bills will come back. Straus also said that even though he's retiring, he will strengthen the Republican party and fight against harmful policies.
Homophobic and transphobic policies continue to plague the US and the rest of the world and we need politicians such as Straus to fight against harmful legislation.