Tennessee sued over bill that would allow trans-students to use preferred restroom in public schools

Earlier this year, Governor Bill Lee signed a slew of bills targeting transgender individuals in public schools. On Tuesday in Tennessee, a second legal challenge was filed regarding the “bathroom bill.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, earlier this year, challenged a first-of-its-kind law requiring government & business facilities to post signs for the public, letting them know transgender individuals will use public bathrooms of their choice. Two Tennessee transgender students filed a lawsuit through the Human Rights Campaign service alleging the law violates Title IX of the 1972 federal law protecting against sex discrimination in education.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said, “Courts have time-and-again ruled against these dangerous and discriminatory laws, and we are going to fight in court to strike down this one and protect the civil rights of transgender and non-binary young people.” He added, “With our representation of two transgender kids today, we are sending a strong message of support for all transgender and non-binary children across the country — you matter, and your legal rights should be respected.”

Blocked from moving forward, a judge stunts implementation of the law while the filing plays out in court. Samantha Fisher, Tennessee Attorney General spokesperson, said the office was currently reviewing the lawsuit. Students, parents, or employees could sue for monetary damages “for all psychological, emotional, and physical harm suffered” when school officials allow persons not identifying with their birth sex to enter the restroom of the opposite sex.

Forced to use a bathroom of their birth sex, many LGBTQ communities do not understand why they seem targeted on these issues. Critics of the law explain it is more likely to stigmatize the already marginalized group further. According to the Williams Institute, 1.4 million adults identify as transgender in the United States. About 0.7% of adults 18-24 identify as transgender, and 0.5% of adults 65 and older identify as transgender.



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