Story at a glance

  • Many states are considering bills that restrict the rights of transgender Americans, especially youth.
  • Tennessee lawmakers passed a law restricting the ability of transgender students to use bathrooms in public schools.
  • LGBTQ+ advocates are protesting the legislation, which was passed by a Republican-led legislature.

Tennessee lawmakers passed legislation banning transgender students from sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms in schools. The bill is now headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Bill Lee, who is expected to sign the legislation proposed by his party’s lawmakers, one of several bills restricting the rights of transgender Tennesseeans. 

Last month, the governor signed another bill restricting the rights of transgender youth, joining a slew of states across the country banning transgender athletes from participating in school sports. Earlier this year, Lee said transgender female athletes "participating in women’s sports will destroy women’s sports,” sparking backlash from the LGBTQ+ community as well as parts of the athletic community, which has its own standards for participation


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FLORIDA’S NEW BAN ON TRANSGENDER STUDENTS IN SPORTS WOULD ALLOW SCHOOLS TO SUBJECT MINORS TO GENITAL INSPECTIONS

NCAA BACKS TRANSGENDER ATHLETES, SAYS IT WON’T HOLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AT PLACES THAT AREN’T ‘FREE OF DISCRIMINATION’

NEW NC BILL WOULD REQUIRE SCHOOLS TO TELL PARENTS IF A CHILD ‘EXHIBITS GENDER NONCONFORMITY’


This bill — whose sponsor, Jason Zachary, a state representative, said "provides absolute clarity” — would allow students to refuse to share a bathroom with transgender students and sue the school if it does not provide "reasonable accommodations."

"A public school shall provide a reasonable accommodation to a person who: (1) For any reason, is unwilling or unable to use a multi-occupancy restroom or changing facility designated for the person's sex," says the bill, which defines sex as "immutable" and "determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth."


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This includes transgender students, who would be forced to use the bathroom designated for the opposite gender or request a single-occupancy bathroom. But LGBTQ+ advocates say the bill is unnecessary at best and discriminatory at worst, promoting segregation and invalidating transgender students’ identities. Similar bills have been considered by the state legislature before and passed in other states; they've also been repealed, as in the case of North Carolina, on the grounds that restricting the rights of transgender people to use public accommodations is discriminatory. 

"I don't know anybody who has even known they've been in the bathroom with a trans person, and if they have, it doesn't bother them," Jennifer White, a mother of three from Cleveland, Tenn, told WTVC


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ARKANSAS AND SOUTH DAKOTA PASS LBGTQ BANS THAT TARGET TRANSGENDER MINORS

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


 

Published on Apr 21, 2021