The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is
challenging a Tennessee law that prohibits transgender students,
teachers, and school employees from using the bathrooms and locker
rooms of their choice.
HRC, the nation's largest LGBT rights
advocate, filed the suit on Tuesday.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, a Republican, signed the
bill into law in May.
The Tennessee Accommodations for All
Children Act (House Bill 1233) states that public schools must make a
“reasonable accommodation” for a person who cannot or will not
use a restroom or changing facility designated for their sex. The law
makes clear that a “reasonable accommodation” does not “include
access to a restroom or changing facility that is designated for use
by members of the opposite sex while persons of the opposite sex are
present or could be present.” Such accommodations include access to
a “single-occupancy restroom.”
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Plaintiffs in the case are 14-year-old
Alex and 6-year-old Ariel (not their real names) and their parents.
While attending the 7th
grade, Alex was not allowed to use the bathroom of his choice due to
school policy. He stopped drinking liquids at school to avoid having
to use the restroom instead of using a private bathroom.
After attending a private school the
last year, Alex will start attending a public high school in the
Ariel, who began her social transition
4 years ago, attended kindergarten without incident. But in the fall,
she'll be subject to the new law as she begins the 1st
grade at a different school.
Both parents say they are considering
moving to another state for their children's well-being.
In its lawsuit, HRC argues that the law
violates Title IX and the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of
the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. Supreme Court last month
refused to hear a case involving a Virginia student who was denied
use of the bathroom of his choice. The high court's decision leaves
in place a lower court's ruling that sides with the student.
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