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Bill would require state to defend schools bathroom policy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A bill authorizing the Tennessee attorney general to defend a public school’s transgender bathroom and locker room policy is advancing in the GOP-dominant Statehouse.

The House Civil Justice subcommittee voted to advance the measure Tuesday after lengthy debate. According to the bill, school districts could be represented by the Tennessee Attorney General’s office if they face a lawsuit over policies designating use of restrooms, locker rooms or other facilities based on biological sex.

The bill does not allow the attorney general’s office to defend schools that choose not to base similar policies on biological sex.

Republican Rep. Andy Holt, the bill’s sponsor, says the proposal is needed to protect school children. However, opponents counter the measure harms transgender and non-binary children.

A similar bill failed to gain traction last year.

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