LGBTQ+ advocates concerned about new laws

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee lawmakers have recently signed five new bills into law, aimed at the LGBTQ+ community.

Two of the laws focus on transgendered use of restrooms.

Chattanooga Advocacy group, the I Am Foundation, say that they are disappointed in Tennessee lawmakers.

“I think that it is very saddening that Governor Bill Lee came to this decision with him and his colleagues”, says I Am Foundation’s President and CEO, D’Angelo Davis.

Many other LGBTQ+ advocacy groups around the nation are expressing their concerns as well.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued the following statement in reaction to Gov. Lee signing Senate Bill 126.

“If lawmakers really care about the best interests of trans youth, they would focus on improving access to quality health care instead of playing doctor themselves. Patients, parents and health care providers should be guided by science and medical best practices rather when seeking treatments, not the whims of the state legislators. Gov. Lee has made Tennessee a pioneer in anti-transgender discrimination by signing the first and second bathroom bills since HB2 in recent days. Unfortunately his decision to sign SB 126 (HB 1027) therefore comes as no surprise. He and his anti-equality colleagues are advancing policy based on fear, not science and they will ultimately lose this fight.”

Local state representative, Robin Smith, says that the Governor is protecting Tennesseans in response to President Biden’s executive orders that he signed on his first day in office.

Smith says that the orders were too broad.

“This is really a response to a federal mandate that came down. So, the reason for so many different bills is addressing different parts of Tennessee Code”, adds Smith.

But, advocacy groups say that the new laws are making history in the wrong way.

Davis adds, “I think that Governor Bill Lee has passed a lot of bills from what I can see and everyone can see. But, he’s not passing the correct bills. He needs to pass bills for better gun control or bills that stop assault rifles.”

Two of the laws address transgendered use of bathroom.

Rep. Smith says, “Hormonally and scientifically, there are two genders and so this is a protection. Whether it’s, the bathroom signage or protecting our female athletes from having to compete unfairly.”

The newest law states businesses must post warnings if they allow both sexes, and transgender people to use the restroom.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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