Big Win: Sponsor of Anti-Transgender Bill in Tennessee Pulls LegislationBy Adam Polaski • April 18, 2016 • 5:16 pm
Today in Tennessee, advocates of equality for LGBT people celebrated an important victory as Rep. Susan Lynn announced she would pull her bill, which would force students to use the restroom that corresponds with their biological sex, ignoring their gender identity. This action effectively kills the anti-transgender legislation, SB 2387 and its counterpart HB 2414, at least until next year.
This is a huge, important win for LGBT advocates in Tennessee – and it comes after months of organizing from state and national partners, including the Tennessee Equality Project, Freedom for All Americans, the ACLU of Tennessee, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign. Freedom for All Americans is proud to have worked hand-in-hand with the Tennessee Equality Project this year.
In late March a Tennessee House committee voted to send the invasive bill to “summer study,” but the bill was unexpectedly revived just a few days later. It’s terrific to see that after so much coordinate pushback, lawmakers clearly feel the pressure and have chosen not to move forward with the bill.
Just last week, the Attorney General of Tennessee released a report underlining that the bill would jeopardize $1 billion in federal funding because it violates the federal Title IX. In his report, he posited, “Does House Bill 2414 pose a risk of violation of Title IX of the Education amendments of 1972?” before quickly answering, “Yes.”
Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s office previously expressed concern over the state losing federal funding because of the bill. Earlier this year, similar bills did not advance out of committee in Washington and Wisconsin, while the Governor of South Dakota vetoed a bill just like Tennessee’s HB2414.
The truth has been proven over and over again: Anti-transgender bills like Tennessee’s HB2414 are not only harmful to transgender children – but they’re also crippling for public schools and the state overall, as they violate federal law. Leaders in other states facing similar legislation – including South Carolina and Minnesota – must stand together and handily reject such blatant anti-transgender discrimination.