Mr. Cox said he had been blindsided on March 4 by state lawmakers in his own party when they approved a last-minute version of the bill and bypassed negotiations with Democrats and transgender-rights advocates, who had spent weeks working on a compromise.

After lawmakers approved the legislation, Mr. Cox addressed the transgender community in a news conference, saying: “We care about you. We love you. It’s going to be OK. We’re going to get through this together.”

Julie Bosman contributed reporting.

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