Please, vote NO on SB1297 and SB1304 when they come before the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. More than 120 members of the clergy in Tennessee oppose both bills.
SB1297 is unnecessary because Tennessee already has an indecent exposure law. As currently written, this bill puts transgender people at risk of arrest for going to the gym or the restroom. And because this bill poses such a danger to transgender people it is drawing the kind of attention to Tennessee that will result in North Carolina-style boycotts, hurting tourism, events, and business development. Picking on people through our laws is wrong and risking Tennessee's prosperity is unwise.
SB1304 is also wrong for Tennessee because child placement policies should be based on the best interests of children and matching them with loving homes.
I am concerned about the stories coming out of South Carolina where Jewish and Catholic prospective parents have been turned away from private agencies. That accomplishes nothing but children waiting longer to be adopted because the very people who would like to give them a home face yet another barrier.
Another issue that bothers me is the misinformation in the debate. While the House sponsor has said that this bill is designed to prevent private agencies from going out of business because of litigation, that is not actually happening. This bill is more likely to trigger lawsuits against the state for discrimination.
Thank you for considering my views.