Tennessee House Subcommittee Passes “Gender Inspection” Bill

March 15, 2016 • 5:26 pm

WASHINGTON – Tennessee lawmakers met this afternoon and passed dangerous legislation targeting transgender youth and college students for discrimination.

House Bill 2414 would require that students prove that their anatomy matches that of their birth certificate prior to entering a public restroom. Tennessee House Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee lawmakers disregarded testimony and evidence highlighting the dangerous impact this bill will have on every student, and voted to pass the bill to the full committee on a voice vote.

“Every student should be allowed to use the restroom in peace,” Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans stated.  “Sadly, House Bill 2414 specifically targets transgender students from using the restroom that matches the identity they live as everyday.  This not only endangers their personal safety, but it further isolates these students from their peers.”

The discriminatory measure defies federal laws, threatening $682.5 million in federal funding for Tennessee’s public schools and universities. Schools across the state can also expect to divert millions of dollars from the classroom to fund expensive lawsuits.

Concern regarding the unintended consequences of the bill extend to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.  In an interview with BuzzFeed, Haslam’s press secretary stated:

“The governor does have financial concerns over the loss of Title IX funding.”

Earlier this month, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, vetoed similar legislation that reached his desk. In a statement, Gov. Daugaard expressed similar distresses as what would face Tennesseans, noting, “Instead of encouraging local solutions, this bill broadly regulates in a manner that invites conflict and litigation, diverting energy and resources from the education of children in [South Dakota].”

“Tennessee lawmakers would be wise to follow Gov. Daugaard’s lead and stop this discriminatory bill,” McTighe added.

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