TENNESSEE — Today, the Tennessee House passed HB 1182 (SB 1224), a discriminatory bill that aims to prevent transgender people from using restrooms aligning with their identity by requiring businesses with ‘formal or informal’ policies of allowing transgender people to use the appropriate restroom to post offensive and humiliating signage. This bill, along with the anti-transgender sports bill that Governor Bill Lee signed into law last Friday, are part of the 2021 “Slate of Hate” — anti-equality bills pushed by national extremist groups and peddled by lawmakers in Tennessee in an effort to sow fear and division.
In addition to these two anti-transgender bills, the legislature is considering SB 1367 (HB 1233), another ‘bathroom bill,’ HB 578 (SB 657), an anti-trans medical care ban, SB 1229 (HB 529), an anti-lgbtq parental notification bill, HB 800 (SB 1216), a bill that would prevent schools from providing an LGBTQ-inclusive education, and HB 372 (SB 193), a bill to permit all government employees, including teachers, first responders, and public officials to opt-out of diversity training. Human Rights Campaign Associate Regional Campaign Director, Melodía Gutiérrez, issued the following statement in reaction to the House advancing HB 1182:
Wide range of business and advocacy groups, athletes oppose anti-trans legislation
A fight driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local legislators or public concern
These bills come from the same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights by pushing copycat bills across state houses — dangerous, anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), and Eagle Forum among others.
Trans equality is popular: Anti-transgender legislation is a low priority, even among Trump voters
In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group last fall:
Another more recent poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group revealed that, with respect to transgender youth participation in sports, the public’s strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”
States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal, reputational harm
Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills across the country, like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and an anti-transgender sports ban in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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