Tennessee bill banning transgender bathroom use fails

Wed. March 23, 2016 8:42 AM by OnTopMag.com

Nashville, TN - A Tennessee bill that sought to prohibit students in public schools from using the bathroom that does not conform to his or her gender at birth died on Tuesday.

A week after a House subcommittee approved the controversial bill, it was killed by the House Education Administration and Planning Committee.

"I just don't think it's appropriate nor do I think it's necessary," state Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, a Democrat from Ripley, is quoted as saying by The Tennessean.

Two Republicans on the panel said they had decided to withdraw their support for the bill after learning more about the issue.

"We open up a big door of confusion here. How do we protect all people," said Rep. Mark White, who voted for the bill last week. "Let's leave this up to the local schools."

Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, credited the transgender students who spoke at the hearing with changing hearts and minds.

"The powerful voices of transgender students and their families who spoke out against this bill truly increased understanding of what it means to be transgender and moved legislators to recognize that this legislation was extremely harmful," she said. "Every child in Tennessee deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, which is why today's vote is so important as we work to move Tennessee forward and ensure that all Tennessee children are treated equally under the law."

Republican Governor Bill Haslam expressed opposition to the bill, saying that the state could lose federal funding if it became law.

(Related: Kesha says she's "not OK" with anti-transgender bills.)

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine



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