YES, ANOTHER BATHROOM BILL – Updated April 5, 2018
A bill in Tennessee would support transphobic policies in school districts. If HB 2620/ SB 2480 (sponsored by Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden and Sen. Joey Hensley of Hohenwald) were to become law, the Tennessee Attorney General could be forced to defend school districts that deny transgender and gender non-conforming students access to appropriate facilities based on their gender identity. This bill perpetuates negative school climates that have serious consequences for trans students in the classroom, allocates taxpayer funds to explicitly promote anti-transgender discrimination, and seeks to defend transphobic policies that are frequently overturned in the courts.
Update: On April 4, the Senate Bill failed to receive a second in the Senate Judiciary Committee, meaning the lawmakers refused to even discuss the bill when it was presented by Senator Hensley. This is certainly a huge step forward that likely means that the bill will not go any further! However, the House Bill (HB 2620) is still on the calendar for the House Finance Subcommittee for next Monday, April 9 at noon. Although the current status of the companion bill in the Senate is a good sign that the House bill won't progress further, we have seen zombie bathroom bills before! Community members must still speak up against this proposal and to let your legislators know you oppose any policies that give a license to discriminate against transgender and gender non-conforming students in Tennessee. HB 2620/ SB 2480:
What can you do?
Make a call! We need you to take urgent action to make your voice heard. First, let your legislators know now that you oppose HB 2620 and that you will carefully be watching their vote on these issues in the coming weeks. Click here to make a call now.
Sample script: "Good morning/afternoon my name is *your name* and I am a voter in *Your County*. I'm calling to ask you to oppose on HB 2620. This is an unnecessary and mean-spirited bill that is only going to waste tax dollars defending discriminatory policies that are regularly overturned by courts. Please vote NO on HB 2620. Thank you."
Send a message! Use the online form from the Tennessee Equality Project to generate an email to members of the subcommittee urging them to vote no. Send a message now.
Show up! Please join GLSEN Tennessee and advocates from across the state on April 9 at 12:00 pm at the Cordell Hull Building, to oppose HB 2620 in the House Finance Subcommittee. Click here to RSVP to the Tennessee Equality Project's event.
Need help? Contact us at Tennessee@chapters.glsen.org