Monday, April 18, 2016

Tennessee Anti-Transgender Republican Pulls Bill and Kills It

It would seem that despite protestations to the contrary some Republican state level legislators are paying heed to the economic fallout North Carolina is suffering in the wake of the North Carolina GOP's passage of an anti-LGBT bill that in addition to rolling back non-discrimination protections also seeks to force transgender individuals to use the bathroom associated with their birth gender regardless of their transition and amended birth certificates.  Behind these bills are the usual Christian dominionist hate group suspects, Liberty Counsel and the wholly misnamed Alliance Defending Freedom.  The Tennessean looks at the decision of Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet (pictured at left), to pull her misguided bill even as she pretends that the retribution that North Carolina had no role in her decision.  Here are excerpts: 
The House sponsor of a bill that would require students in public school grades K-12 and higher education institutions to use the restroom that corresponds with their sex at birth is killing the controversial legislation.
Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, said Monday she plans on delaying any action on the highly contentious measure in an effort to further study the issue.
Lynn, who had been an outspoken proponent of the measure as it made its way through legislative committees, said school districts are protecting the privacy rights of all students and she was "confident that things will be OK” until next session.
The Republican lawmaker said the controversy surrounding the legislation, which included threats by some companies to withhold business from Tennessee, did not factor into her decision to halt the measure.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued an opinion saying the state could be in jeopardy of losing more than $1.2 billion in federal Title IX funding if the bill became law. Title IX under federal law bars discrimination in education based on sex.
Lynn said the opinion did not address “exactly what we were looking for.”
The opinion came in response to two questions, which centered around the Title IX issue, that Reps. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, and Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville, who serves as chairman of the House Education Administration and Planning Committee, asked Slatery to answer. Most schools in the state are offering accommodations to students.
She said if the question had been asked “more accurately” there would have likely been a different answer. Backers of the bill, including sponsors Lynn and Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, said the legislation was needed to protect the privacy of students.
“We just did want to protect children at the state level," Lynn said.
Lynn said that she talked about the controversial legislation with Gov. Bill Haslam, who expressed concerns about the Title IX funding.
Lynn's announcement comes as competing groups descended on Capitol Hill on Monday to continue the battle over the bill, while a panel of senators delayed taking action on the controversial legislation during an afternoon session.
Family Action Council of Tennessee President David Fowler backed the bill and thanked Lynn and Bell for sponsoring it.
Fowler downplayed the possible loss of business and federal education funding and sought to distance Tennessee's proposal from similar legislation passed in North Carolina.
In recent weeks, opposition to the legislation mounted. Last week, executives from 60 businesses, including Cigna, Hilton Hotels, Dow Chemical Co. and Alcoa Inc., signed a letter that was delivered to the Republican leaders of both chambers expressing their concerns about the bill.

While  Lynn claims to only to "protect the children," in reality she doesn't give a damn about LGBT children.

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