A host of new anti-LGBT bills have been filed over the last two days in Tennessee. Here are a few:
1. Anti-transgender student bathroom bill. Filed by Rep. Susan Lynn and Sen. Mike Bell, the bill would require students to use the restrooms and changing rooms that correspond to gender on their birth certificates.
2. RFRA/Limited Turn the Gays Away bill. Filed by Rep. Holt and Sen. Bowling, the bill would "protect" any member of the clergy, religious institution, or organization controlled by a religious institution from having to solemnize any marriage they disagree with or providing services in connection with any marriage they disagree with.
3. Marriage bills. A general nullification bill that is clearly inspired by the marriage issue, again filed by Rep. Pody and Sen. Beavers. Various caption bills that seem to deal with other issues, but could actually be shell bills that can be amended to become attacks on marriage equality later. We should be watching to see what they become. This one is by Rep. Timothy Hill and Sen. Bailey. This one is by Rep. Matthew Hill and Sen. Southerland. This one is by Rep. Hulsey and Sen. Bowling. This one is by Rep. Rogers and Sen. Beavers. This one is by Rep. Womick and Rep. Beavers. This one by Rep. Holt and Sen. Bailey. And this troublesome bill by Rep. Van Huss and Sen. Bowling that prevents public officials from solemnizing marriages. This makes it harder for people who aren't members of congregations (of every sexual orientation and gender identity) to get married. Here's a resolution by Rep. Lynn expressing disagreement with the Supreme Court's marriage ruling.
4. Marriage and gender identity all in one bill. Here's a bill by Rep. Sparks and Sen. Beavers that not only defines husband and wife in government documents, but even more fundamentally male and female. It makes documents that don't adhere to these definitions void. This is another vicious attack on the transgender community.
5. A new form of the counseling discrimination bill is back and it applies to more than just students this time. Filed by Sen. Jack Johnson and Rep. Dan Howell, the bill would apply to counselors in private practice and allow them to turn clients away based on sincerely held religious beliefs.
1. Watch for email updates and updates on Facebook on specific bills and take action.
3. Fuel the fight with a small contribution to increase our advocacy efforts.