Former State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), who resigned from the State Senate in August to focus on her campaign for the Republican nomination for governor, says a tragic case involving a transgender man convicted yesterday of sexually assaulting a ten year old girl in a bathroom in her apartment underscores the need for legislation that would require Tennessee students to use restrooms and locker room facilities that are consistent with their physical gender.
Earlier this year, Beavers and State Rep. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) introduced that legislation in the 2017 session of the Tennessee General Assembly, but the bill did not make it out of committee.
A jury Wednesday afternoon found Casper, Wyoming resident Miguel Alberto Martinez, who identifies as female and is also known as Michelle, guilty of one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a child and one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a child. After a three-day trial the six-woman, six-man jury deliberated for about two hours before reaching its decision to convict him.
He now faces between 25 to 70 years in prison.
“What happened to that little girl in Wyoming was horrific,” pointed out Beavers, “and we need to take steps to reduce the likelihood that anything like that will ever happen to our daughters and granddaughters here in Tennessee.”
“The transgender bathroom bill that was pulled from consideration by Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) last year and failed to get a motion in a Senate committee earlier this year would have been a step in the right direction and I hope our legislators finally muster the courage to address this important issue,” Beavers added.
“This is really about basic common sense,” Beavers said.
“Men and women should use the restrooms and locker rooms in our schools that fits the reality of their physical gender rather than how they claim to self-identify. As this case in Wyoming brutally demonstrates, it is not about discrimination it is about protecting our kids,” Beavers concluded.