Transgender Bathroom Bill Withdrawn in Tennessee

Money and backlash from business community wins out over common sense and privacy for students.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Susan Lynn which would have required all students in public schools and universities to use bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their gender at birth has been taken off the table.  

Supporters and parents said it would protect the privacy of students, but opponents called it hurtful and discriminatory toward transgender students.

After intense lobbying from both supporters and opponents, Rep. Lynn caved in and withdrew it from legislation, saying she will wait and see how similar laws play out in other states, then tweak the bill before bringing it back up again next year.

Lynn had amended the bill so students who objected could be given an alternative, but then pulled the measure the same day that a group of about 30 pastors urged her to stand strong in the face of opposition.

Leaders of 60 businesses, including the chief executives of Williams-Sonoma, Hilton Worldwide and T-Mobile, signed a letter last week that asked Tennessee lawmakers to reject the bathroom bill, saying it is discriminatory.

The governor of Tennessee said he had received warnings from multiple business people that the state could lose education funding if the bill was passed.

Lynn said, “I feel very passionately about this issue.   I really believe that boys should just use the boys’ room and girls should use the girls’ room.”



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