A Tennessee bill that seeks to prohibit
students in public institutions from using the bathroom that does not
conform to their gender at birth advanced Wednesday.
With an 8-4 vote, the Tennessee House
Administration and Planning Committee advanced House Bill 2414. It
now moves to the House Finance Committee. The bill appeared to be
dead late last month when it failed to win approval in the House
Administration and Planning Committee.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, released an
open letter calling on lawmakers to abandon HB 2414 and its
companion bill in the Senate (SB 2387). Joining in the effort are
executives from Dow Chemical, HPE, Choice Hotels and Alcoa. Viacom
made its own appeal in a separate statement.
Similar bills have been proposed in
several states, including South Dakota, where it was vetoed by the
state's Republican governor, and North Carolina, where passage has
led to state boycotts and a legal challenge.
“Tennessee lawmakers must not be
paying attention to North Carolina and the national backlash caused
by a similar legislative attack on transgender people,” said HRC
President Chad Griffin. “In addition to undermining Tennessee’s
economy, this vicious and appalling measure would needlessly
jeopardize millions in federal funding for Tennessee’s schools and
universities in an attempt to force local administrators and teachers
to discriminate against transgender students – young people who
already face high rates of harassment, bullying, and discrimination.
The Tennessee Senate must resoundingly reject this outrageous
Republican Governor Bill Haslam has
previously expressed opposition to the bill.