Watered-down Tennessee ‘bathroom bill’ gets House’s OK

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The state House has cleared legislation to spell out that Tennessee’s public indecency law applies to bathrooms and changing rooms for single-sex, multiperson use.

The House passed Republican Rep. John Ragan’s watered-down bill Monday. It’s awaiting Senate floor action.

The Tennessee Equality Project has said the bill’s sections targeting transgender people were removed.

Previously, Ragan said he carried the bill due to confusion created when Obama-era regulations instructed schools to allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms of their expressed gender identity instead of their sex assigned at birth.

Ragan said his bill provides clarity.

Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart said even if the bill does nothing of substance, its intention and perception resemble that of North Carolina legislation that caused business backlash over concerns it targeted LGBT people.

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