Tennessee Republicans Still Fighting for an Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill

"I don't care if they think they're a woman," said one of the bill's sponsors.

Republicans in Tennessee are once again pushing for an anti-trans “bathroom bill.”

Rep. John Ragan introduced HB1151 in the House, and Sen. Mark Pody introduced its counterpart in the Senate, SB1297, both of which would criminalize trans existence in bathrooms and locker rooms.

“As introduced, expands the offense of indecent exposure to include incidents occurring in a restroom, locker room, dressing room, or shower, designated for single-sex, multi-person use, if the offender is a member of the opposite sex than the sex designated for use,” the bills read.

Ragan said Wednesday the bill is necessary to “protect members of the opposite sex from having their privacy invaded,” reports the Tennessean.

“I don’t care if they think they’re a woman,” he said of trans women.

“A medical, psychiatric, or psychological diagnosis of gender dysphoria, gender confusion, or similar conditions, in the absence of untreated mental conditions, such as schizophrenia, does not serve as a defense to the offense of indecent exposure,” a section of his bill reads.

Still, he argues his effort isn’t similar to a 2016 “bathroom bill,” that failed in the state, despite its obvious closeness in intent.

Both HB1151 and SB1297 were passed upon first consideration in their respective branches. If they pass a second reading, they will then be referred to committee for further consideration.

Republicans in the state have also introduced a number of bills that would make it legal for adoption agencies to deny same-sex couples on religious grounds. The House version of the bill is also sponsored by Ragan.

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