The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee filed a lawsuit to prevent the enactment of a new transgender bathroom sign law from taking effect on July 1.
The enacted law would require organizations to post a sign outside their bathrooms, if they allow individuals to use any bathroom — not one based on their biological sex.
The sign must read:
“Notice: This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”
The requirements to post a notice on the entrance to any facilities may fall under one of numerous categories: open to the general public, designated for a specific biological sex, and a facility or area where a person would have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
The ACLU lawsuit claims requirement violates an individual’s First Amendment protections.
The lawsuit is being filed on behalf of two Tennessee businesses — Fido restaurant in Nashville and Sanctuary Performing Arts venue in Chattanooga.
“I am against posting offensive signs that stigmatize and deny the existence of transgender and intersex people at our center. These signs undermine Sanctuary’s very mission and send the exact opposite of the welcoming message we try to convey in everything we do,” said Kye Sayers, owner of the Sanctuary performing arts and community center in Chattanooga.
However, many supporters of the bill argue it is not discriminatory because it still allows individuals to choose which restaurant to use.
Last month, Nashville’s District Attorney General Glenn Funk announced that he would not enforce the new law.
Governor Bill Lee condemned Funk’s decision. He said, “A district attorney purposefully disregarding current, duly enacted laws by the legislature is a grave matter that threatens our justice system and has serious consequences.”
A district attorney purposefully disregarding current, duly enacted laws by the legislature is a grave matter that threatens our justice system and has serious consequences.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) September 24, 2020
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