Tennessee Bathroom Bill Is Pulled

Monday, April 18, 2016

Rep. Susan Lynn on Monday decided not to pursue a vote on House Bill 2414, the so-called "bathroom bill."

David Fowler, Family Action Council of Tennessee president, said, "We were not able to speak with her before her decision, so we will not attempt to explain her reasons for doing so. We thank Senator Mike Bell for his hard work on the Senate side and agree with his decision not to push for a vote on the bill at this point since it could not pass on House side.

“We are thankful that Rep. Lynn and Senator Bell brought the bill and we appreciate their efforts in past weeks in the face of consistent opposition from the governor’s office and others, but we join the thousands of parents across the state who are profoundly disappointed that at this point in the process Rep. Lynn has decided not to proceed with a bill that would have simply protected the privacy of the children they have entrusted to our public schools.

“We are grateful for the legislators who said they would take the bill from Rep. Lynn this year and continue to push it forward; however, it was not to be. We trust that one of them will do so next year. If so, we stand ready to assist, even as we have tried to do on the legislation this year.

“In the meantime, we would encourage citizens to monitor the policies of their local school systems and demand that their schools defend the privacy of students if threatened with lawsuits, as has already happened with one local school system.”

"High school can be a difficult time for anyone, and transgender students who testified at the legislature said they were already afraid to go to any school restroom," Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro said. "This bill was nothing more than a mean-spirited attack that would have written that fear and discrimination into state law. Its demise is a bright spot in a year that's been a dark stain on Tennessee's reputation as a hospitable, welcoming state."

"This bill brought together national civil rights organizations, more than 60 major companies and more than 75 clergy members, in addition to the many parents and transgender students who testified against this mean-spirited legislation," Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris said. "Jobs and education were at stake, people stood up for tolerance, and they prevailed. The message was loud and clear: Tennessee won't be another North Carolina."

"While I'm glad the bill is off notice, the overall push against diversity and tolerance have had a chilling effect," state Senator Sara Kyle said. "It's stoked unfounded fears that put lives in danger and falsely equated being transgender with deviance and criminality. In reality, these are people who need understanding and compassion, not bathroom monitors."

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