TN lawmaker joins national effort to call out anti-LGBTQ bills
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — From Texas to Tennessee lawmakers are introducing a number of measures to target LGBTQ issues, from healthcare to bathrooms.
Lawmakers from many states joined the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) at a press conference to discuss the proposals and call on Americans to respond against the push.
Within the past two years, there has been a rash of bills targeting what LGBTQ people can not do.
“All of these people come together to create an environment of terror and fear,” Cathryn Oakley, HRC State Legislative Director and Senior Legislative Counsel said.
Whether it’s the Governor of Texas Greg Abbott’s executive order or Florida’s “Don’t say gay” bill, the proposals are grabbing national attention.
“The Governor [Abbott] has declared it to be child abuse to get age-appropriate medically necessary gender-affirming care for a transgender youth. The governor has deemed that child abuse,” Oakley said.
Oakley added, “Florida is trying to make it so that LGBTQ youth aren’t able to tell the truth about who they are at school.”
The conversation surrounding the treatment of transgender and other LGBTQ people is causing some, including Tennessee lawmakers, to speak out.
“It is a slate of hate that is designed to attack states across this country,” said Sen. Raumesh Akbari, District 29.
Akbari, a Democrat, joined other legislators across the country to explain what the Volunteer State has done.
“In Tennessee, like you said we passed, I should say they because I didn’t vote for those bills – passed the first bathroom bill since North Carolina, and they also passed a ban on trans kids being able to play sports in K-12,” Akbari said.
Tennessee isn’t done adding to the more than 60 anti-LGBTQ bills according to the Human Rights Campaign.
“A pronoun bill where a teacher will not have to recognize a student’s preferred pronouns – a teacher or administrator. And if they refuse to do that, they can not be removed from their job. They cannot be sued.” She continued, “That to me is saying you as a child who has certain pronouns is not worthy of the dignity and respect that you deserve.”
Tennessee lawmakers are also considering a bill that would remove funding from districts that do not enforce the gender matching on birth certificate qualification to play sports.
Last year a judge blocked a bathroom sign bill notifying patrons of inclusive bathrooms.