Bill requiring state defense of schools bathroom policy axed

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A bill authorizing Tennessee’s attorney general to defend a public school’s transgender bathroom and locker room policy is dead for the year.

The state Senate cast a voice vote Wednesday to delay consideration of Republican Sen. Joey Hensley’s bill until 2020. Some senators were heard voting to keep the bill alive.

Under the bill, school districts could be represented by the attorney general’s office or outside counsel if they face a lawsuit over policies designating use of restrooms, locker rooms or other facilities based on biological sex.

Eleven large companies, including Nike, Marriott International and others, opposed that bill and others in a letter. They argued that it could mandate that “taxpayers foot the bill for schools determined to discriminate against transgender students in violation of federal civil rights law.”

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