Tennessee State Legislature Sends Anti-Transgender Student Bathroom Bill 2.0 to Governor Lee’s Desk

by Wyatt Ronan

TENNESSEE – Today, the Tennessee state legislature sent HB 1233 (SB 1367), a discriminatory bill that would deny transgender students access to the bathroom and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, to Governor Lee’s desk. 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.

HB 1233 (SB 1367) is part of the 2021 “Slate of Hate” bills rippling through the Tennessee state legislature, along with the anti-transgender sports and business bathroom bills. 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.

This anti-transgender bill is the third discriminatory piece of legislation recently sent to Governor Lee’s desk by the Tennessee state legislature this session following SB 228 an anti-transgender sports ban, and SB 1229, a sweeping anti-LGBTQ education bill. The state legislature is also poised to pass HB 1182 (SB 1224), another ‘bathroom bill’ that aims to prevent transgender people from using restrooms aligning with their identity and is considering HB 578 (SB 657), an anti-trans medical care ban, 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 President Alphonso David released the following statement in response to the Tennessee state legislature sending HB 1233 (SB 1367) to Governor Lee’s desk:

The Tennessee state legislature is quickly becoming a hotbed of anti-LGBTQ legislation run by lawmakers who are determined to discriminate against and further stigmatize LGBTQ youth instead of focusing on real problems facing Tennesseans. As they continue to advance harmful legislation like HB 1233 (SB 1367), their actions will have a real and negative impact on the lives of trans youth in Tennessee by enabling and empowering those who wish to discriminate against them. This bill would do nothing but lead to degrading experiences for trans students and place an undue burden on schools – we urge Governor Lee to veto this legislation.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

Human Rights Campaign Associate Regional Campaign Director Melodía Gutiérrez released the following statement in response to the Tennessee state legislature sending HB 1233 (SB 1367) to Governor Lee’s desk:

Despite being based on antiquated and unjustifiable anti-equality arguments, the Tennessee state legislature has chosen once again to advance an inherently discriminatory and harmful bill in HB 1233 (SB 1367). Regardless of their gender identity, all students deserve to feel comfortable and accepted at school – and this legislation threatens that right for transgender students across Tennessee. Governor Lee should take this opportunity to not be complicit in the Tennessee state legislature’s ‘Slate of Hate’ by vetoing this bill that would only be used to further single out and discriminate against transgender students.

Melodía Gutiérrez, Human Rights Campaign Associate Regional Campaign Director

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