Lawmakers in Tennessee are attacking same-sex marriage and transgender rights.
Senator Mae Beavers and Representative Mark Pody filed a bathroom bill as well as the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defence Act.
Under HB888/SB771 public schools would require students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching the gender on their birth certificate.
The bathroom bill already passed on first consideration in the Senate and was introduced into the House of Representatives yesterday (9 February).
Beavers’ and Pody’s Natural Marriage Defence Act (HB892/SB752) is a direct attack on marriage equality and would ignore the 2015 SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage.
‘The policy of Tennessee [is] to defend natural marriage between one man and one woman,’ it reads.
‘Regardless of any court decision to the contrary.’
It’s the second time both bills are introduced in the state.
In April 2016 Representative Susan Lynn, who sponsored the first bathroom bill, rescinded it.
Opposition came from the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee who received petitions amounting to more than 67,000 signatures, as well as local businesses.
Lynn then claimed she made her decision after learning ‘that our school districts are largely following what the bill says’.
The 2016 Natural Marriage Defense Act did not make it past the Civil Justice subcommittee.
After the election of President Donald Trump, a number of states followed the example of North Carolina, whose HB2 bathroom bill has caused outrage and significant financial damage to the state.
In 2017, similar bills were filed in Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and Virginia; the Virginia was killed in a subcommittee, but all others are still open.
Last year Alabama, Washington and South Carolina also filed bathroom bills towards the end of 2016, which are set to be discussed soon.