Trans advocates outraged after Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signs discriminatory "bathroom bill"

Nashville, Tennessee – Tennessee's Republican governor signed a bill into law on Friday prohibiting transgender students from using bathrooms or locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill banning transgender students from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill banning transgender students from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Transgender advocates are furious after Governor Bill Lee signed The Tennessee Accommodations for All Children Act.

The legislation requires public schools to make "reasonable accommodation" for people who "will not or cannot" use gender-specific bathrooms. According to the law, gender is defined as "a person's immutable biological sex as determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth," The Hill reported.

In other words, transgender students in Tennessee will not be allowed to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.

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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a statement against the legislation, saying, "These anti-equality pieces of legislation are being pushed by national extremist groups and peddled by lawmakers in Tennessee in an effort to sow fear and division."

"The bill further discriminates against transgender students and opens up schools to legal consequences if a student believes they have shared a sex-segregated space – bathrooms, locker rooms or other changing facility – with a transgender student," the HRC continued.

Tennessee has already passed anti-transgender sports and anti-LGBTQ education bills.

Before the current legislative session ends, Lee is also expected to sign a "business bathroom bill" requiring businesses that don't restrict restroom use in this way to post signs warning that transgender people might be inside.

"Federal law does not prohibit discrimination based on sex, gender identity or sexual orientation in public accommodations," according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

The Equality Act, passed in the US House in February, would add these federal protections, but the bill must be first approved by the Senate.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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