In this Thursday, May 12, 2016 file photo, signage is seen outside a restroom at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C. Ten states sued the federal government Friday, July 8, 2016 over rules requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms conforming to their gender identity, joining a dozen other states in the latest fight over LGBT rights. Photo: AP File Photo/Gerry Broome
Tennessee’s H.B. 1182 would require businesses to post notices that say they allow transgender people to use the building’s restrooms.
Signs would be required at the entrances to the building and the door of every restroom that isn’t single stalled.
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“A public or private entity or business that operates a building or facility open to the general public and that, as a matter of formal or informal policy, allows a member of either biological sex to use any public restroom within the building or facility shall post notice of the policy at the entrance of each public restroom and at each entrance of the building accessible by the general public,” the bill reads.
The sign would be required to state “this facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Tim Rudd (R), says it isn’t aimed at transgender people since it doesn’t ban them from using the restroom altogether. Instead, he says it’s aimed at “the protection of women and children against sexual predators that could be taking advantage of policies, executive orders or legislation that may allow the opposite sex to enter a restroom, shower or locker that allows more than one person in the facility at a time.”
The bill has been referred to committees in both chambers of the legislature.
The state has become one of the nation’s hotspots for draconian and vindictive anti-transgender legislation. Tennessee Republicans have been trying to pass them since at least 2012.
A different Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill this year that would allow cisgender students to sue the school if they’re not given a “reasonable accommodation” if they don’t want to share facilities with trans people.
State Rep. Jason Zachary (R) introduced H.B. 1233, which would create a complicated system for addressing bathrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities use at public schools in order to give administrators “a clear path forward.”
Another bill would ban books that mention LGBTQ people from public schools while a third would make the Bible the official state book.
So far this year, the state has passed bills that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents and bans transgender youth from playing school sports.