Target: Bill Haslam, Governor of Tennessee
Goal: Do not pass legislation forcing transgender persons to use bathrooms assigned to their birth genders.
Lawmakers at the Tennessee State Legislature in Nashville have advanced a bill that would require students in public schools and universities to use washrooms in accordance to their birth-assigned sex. This bill, while having little to no impact on the safety of cisgender students attending public institutions, is an attack on the rights and safety of transgender people in Tennessee. If passed, the bill would effectively mandate that schools and public universities harass and police their transgender students. Not only would this be a gross violation of transgender students’ rights, but it will also be a drain the resources of the Tennessee education system as schools would have to be prepared to devote resources to discriminating against their students. Furthermore, this bill will undoubtedly lead to a legal battle that will be incredibly expensive for both the state and its education system.
While supporters of this bill claim that they are legislating in the interests of the children of Tennessee, their arguments are based upon the transphobic perception of transgender people as sexual predators. The truth is that there have been exactly zero cases of transgender people assaulting people in bathrooms. Conversely, 70 percent of transgender people have experienced violence while attempting to use washrooms. It is clear which group needs protection. Maybe Tennessee’s money would be better spent pursuing crimes that are actually happening rather than legislating against crimes that aren’t happening. Sign our petition and tell the governor that this bill must not pass.
Dear Governor Haslam,
HB2414 is an attack on the rights of transgender residents of Tennessee and, despite claims to the contrary, does not protect anyone. There is no evidence of the crimes that the defenders of the bill claim it is addressing. Additionally, enforcement of the laws proposed in this bill will cost Tennessee schools money better spent on education, and will invite litigation that will cost the state millions.
If you believe that every American has the right to live free of violence then you should oppose this bill. If you believe that government has no place meddling in people’s personal lives you should oppose this bill. Even if you believe that there is a problem with assaults in bathrooms you should oppose this bill; there are already perfectly good laws dealing with assault. The truth is that this bill may pretend it affects everyone equally, when in fact it targets a minority. It is the definition of discriminatory. When it comes to a vote on HB2414 please vote it down.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Matt Turner