Earlier this May, Republican Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee signed House Bill 1182, a deeply exclusionary and transphobic bathroom bill, into law. This law would require government facilities open to the public and businesses to post signs explicitly stating the establishment allows transgender folks to use the bathroom, changing room, or locker room that matches their gender identity. This would effectively function as a warning for cisgender people if they happen to use the bathroom with someone who is transgender. Sound like a hate-filled disaster? That’s because it is.
On the smallest bright side, Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk said he will not enforce the law, as reported by the Associated Press. “I believe every person is welcome and valued in Nashville,” he said in a statement. He stressed that enforcing transphobic or homophobic laws is contrary to his values and that his office “will not promote hate.”
If you’re wondering how Lee feels about the top prosecutor in Nashville not enforcing the law he signed, he told reporters as reported by local outlet FOX 17 in part, “I signed the law; it’s his decision how he wants to respond to it.”
As some important context, this is far from the first anti-trans bill Lee has signed into law. In fact, it’s far from the first anti-trans bill he’s signed into law just this year. In March, Lee signed a bill banning trans girls from participating in girls’ sports middle and high school teams under the guise of preserving equity and fair competition in women’s sports.
More recently, the governor signed a bill—House Bill 1233—into law that essentially forces both transgender students and staff to either use the bathrooms that align with their sex aligned at birth—meaning not their actual gender identity—or to use separate, single-occupancy, or employee bathrooms. The law explicitly bars trans folks from using multiperson facilities, including places like locker rooms for the sex with which they identify.
In addition to wondering why one would sign a bill into law if they weren’t actually concerned with it being followed, people are seriously confused about how this law, set to go into effect on July 1, is supposed to be enforced. Back in March, Republican Rep. Tim Rudd told a legislative committee that the bill did not actually provide specific penalties or fines. Rudd, who sponsored the bill, suggested people could enforce the law if district attorneys asked a judge to make the business in question comply or if people filed lawsuits.
According to the bill Lee signed into law, the sign posted outside of the facility in question would read: “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”
Luckily, Funk is not the only person with power in Tennessee who refuses to enforce this hateful new legislation. In a statement to The Tennessean, Nashville Mayor John Cooper told the outlet that this law is “part of an anti-LGBT political platform of hate and division.” He added that these bathroom signs “can be the equivalent of hanging up another sign — a ‘do not come here’ sign.’” Cooper described Nashville as an “inclusive” city but that it might suffer economically from this legislation. Given the way the NCAA has responded to anti-trans sports bills, Cooper is almost certainly right.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.