Tennessee anti-trans sports bill heads to Governor’s desk

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“It’s Heartbreaking,” says the mother of a transgender student.

The Tennessee bathroom sign bill gets a hearing today, as the trans sports bill lands on the governor’s desk.

Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee executive director released this statement:

“Today’s vote by state legislators embedding discrimination against transgender youth into state law is shameful. Transgender girls do not threaten women’s sports. Even the bill sponsors have admitted that they do not know of a single instance of a Tennessee student facing any harm from a transgender athlete playing sports.” said Weinburg.

Transgender girls are girls. Transgender boys are boys. They simply want to participate in school sports for the same reason as anybody else: to find a sense of belonging and social engagement with their peers, to be a part of a team, and to challenge themselves. With this discriminatory and unconstitutional bill, lawmakers have now compromised trans children’s health, social and emotional development, and safety.

Instead of focusing on fear-based myths, our state should focus on the actual issues with gender parity in sports when it comes to funding, resources, pay equity, and more. Promoting baseless fears about trans athletes does nothing to address those very real problems. We urge Governor Lee to reverse course and veto this bill or – should any transgender student be excluded because of this new law – we will see him in court.”

Governor lee has said in the past that effeminate transgender minors present the biggest threat to women’s sports. If that is any indication he most like will sign it into law.

If HB1182 is signed into law this sign would be required on every restroom door. It’s scheduled for a hearing today, 3/23/2021, with the House State Government Committee.

A public or private entity or business that operates a building or facility open to the general public and that, as a matter of formal or informal policy, allows a member of either biological sex to use any public restroom within the building or facility shall post notice of the policy at the entrance of each public restroom and at each entrance of the building accessible by the general public.

Bathroom Bill HB 1233 is assigned a hearing at the Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee on 3/24/2021. This bill, Nashville Public Radio Reports will require students to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex as assigned on their unamended birth certificate.

When Henry Seaton started transitioning to male at 17, his high school in Hendersonville permitted him to use only a single-occupancy restroom.

Seaton says this restriction was not sustainable as a student — and ultimately took a toll on his health.

“To be told that my body is too shameful to enter into a public space and that I would have been the problem — not like the bullying that they were worried about — that’s not something I would have wished on my worst enemy,” he said.

The ACLU of Tennessee reports that there are two more anti-LGBT bills in committee in what is seen as a concerted effort to erase transgender students and criminalize transgender healthcare.

SB 657/HB 578 would make providing a minor under the age of 18 with gender-affirming healthcare or medical care punishable as Class A misdemeanor, 11 months, 29 days in jail, and/or fines up to $2,500.00. However, if the child is eight years of age or less, the penalty is a Class E felony which is punishable by one to six years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $3,000. Any offense that lawmakers have designated as a felony but failed to classify is punishable as a Class E felony.

SB 1216/HB 800 is a straightforward effort to erase members of the LGBTQ community from our public schools by prohibiting any textbooks, instructional materials, or supplemental instructional materials that “promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender (LGBT) issues or lifestyles.” This bill seeks to erase the advancements of the LGBTQ community from our children’s education and sends a dangerous message to LGBTQ children in Tennessee that they do not belong.

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