Even Following South Dakota Outcry and Veto, Anti-Transgender Bill in Tennessee to Be Heard on Tuesday

By Adam Polaski • March 4, 2016 • 10:27 am

In Tennessee, HB2414, a bill that would target transgender students and prohibit them from using the restroom and facilities that correspond with the gender they live every day, is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, March 8 in the House Education Administration and Planning Subcommittee. The measure would force transgender students in public schools to use restrooms, locker rooms, and facilities that correspond with their biological sex, ignoring their gender identity or expression.

TennesseeSchools

No state in the country has passed a law like this that so explicitly punishes transgender children for being who they are.

The bill is remarkably similar to legislation in South Dakota that just this week was vetoed – with that veto sustained by three dozen lawmakers – by Governor Dennis Daugaard. That legislation was protested by tens of thousands of South Dakotans, many major businesses, and nearly a dozen of our nation’s leading mental health and children’s health organizations.

The consequences of HB2414 passing in Tennessee, much like the South Dakota bill, are certain: The state’s reputation will be marred, real students will be hurt, school districts will be saddled with having to follow starkly contrasting state and federal laws, and lawmakers will be sending a message that state is unwelcoming – and in fact, outright hostile to members of the LGBT community.

The Tennessee Equality Project has been rallying support against the legislation, as well as a slate of other anti-LGBT bills. Follow along with their work here.

Elected officials in Tennessee must follow the example set by South Dakota’s governor and take a stand against dangerous bills like HB2414. Furthermore, the state must advance even further, passing affirmative protections for the LGBT community and ensuring that no one faces discrimination because of who they are or who they love.


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