State Watch

Tennessee transgender ‘bathroom bill’ expected to head to governor’s desk

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A bill is headed to the desk of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) that would allow students and teachers to sue public school systems if they encounter people of the opposite biological sex in a restroom, including transgender people.

The Tennessean reported that two similar bills passed the state Senate on Wednesday and the House on Monday; if signed into the law, the legislation would allow litigation if someone comes into contact with anyone who was not born the same gender as they are in a restroom, changing room, shower or other facilities.

The proposals were supported by Republicans in both chambers and passed by wide margins. It wasn’t initially clear if Lee plans to sign one of the bills into law.

The Hill has reached out to the governor’s office for comment.

Lee moved as recently as last month to sign a bill into law requiring students to provide proof of their sex at birth in order to register to play high school or middle school sports at state schools.

“I signed the bill to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition,” the governor said at the time. “This legislation responds to damaging federal policies that stand in opposition to the years of progress made under Title IX and I commend members of the General Assembly for their bipartisan work.”

Republicans in states across the country have advanced legislation targeting transgender Americans, particularly students, in the past several months over criticism from Democrats and LGBTQ+ advocates that the legislation is discriminatory.

President Biden, meanwhile, moved in January to end the ban on transgender military service members implemented during the Trump administration.

Tags bathroom bill Discrimination against transgender people Joe Biden LGBTQ rights

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