Story at a glance

  • The sign included in the bill must read: “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”
  • This targets transgender and nonbinary individuals whose biological sex does not match their gender identities, advocates say.
  • LGBTQ+ advocates have condemned the bill.

Tennessee became the latest state to pass a restrictive law targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community, advocates say, with HB1182 clearing the Senate last Thursday in a 21-4 vote. 

The bill, which was introduced back in February, says “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 in the building or facility.”

The sign included in the bill must read: “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”

The legislation also applies to locker rooms, shower facilities, dressing areas and rooms or other public facilities.

The bill now sits at Gov. Bill Lee’s (R) desk for ratification. Tennessee Sen. Paul Rose (R) is the primary sponsor. 

Along with the flurry of other anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a statement condemning the bill as “discriminatory” since it could lead to harassment and embarrassment.


MORE FROM CHANGING AMERICA

A ‘RAINBOW WAVE’ OF OPENLY QUEER AND TRANSGENDER CANDIDATES JUST MADE POLITICAL HISTORY

NEW YORK DEMOCRATS BECOME FIRST OPENLY GAY BLACK MEN ELECTED TO CONGRESS

SARAH MCBRIDE BECOMES FIRST TRANSGENDER STATE SENATOR IN U.S. HISTORY


“House Bill 1182 is a discriminatory piece of legislation crafted to generate the maximum amount of harm to Tennessee’s transgender community,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “Denying transgender people the ability to access a bathroom consistent with their gender identity is degrading and dehumanizing, and by advancing this bill, the Tennessee state legislature is putting the health and safety of transgender Tennesseans at risk.”

This legislation is a reminder of the series of “bathroom bills” that were introduced over the past few years. In 2017, 16 states, including Tennessee, considered legislation that would explicitly restrict restroom access to biological sex. 

Most of these bills have failed. 


MORE FROM CHANGING AMERICA

TRANSGENDER STUDENT WINS $300K FROM SCHOOL IN DISCRIMINATION CASE

FIRST TRANSGENDER US OFFICIAL WINS SENATE CONFIRMATION

MISSISSIPPI BANS TRANSGENDER ATHLETES FROM COMPETING ON GIRLS’ OR WOMEN’S SPORTS TEAMS

SPORTS SAVED MY LIFE. TRANSGENDER ATHLETES SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE TOO

IDAHO’S CONTROVERSIAL NEW TRANS RIGHTS BILLS FACE LEGAL CHALLENGES

Published on May 03, 2021