Advocacy Update and Action Alert - 4/30/21

Advocacy Chamber News Release

Session Finishing, Record Amount of Discrimination Passed

Advocacy Update and Action Alert - 4/30/21 

Past Advocacy Alerts - 

The first session of Tennessee’s 112th General Assembly is winding down, House and Senate completed their one constitutionally required function this week - passing the historic $42.6B state budget. They also passed a historic number of anti-LGBT bills as well, something that was not required or needed, all bills in search of issues and used to discriminate. 

Five bills look to be passed this year when all is said and done, a shameful record in number and scope. One is already law, four have passed the legislature, the last will be voted on in the house on Monday, then it will join the other 4 on Governor Lee’s desk to be signed into law. 

Where we are: 

The 5 discriminatory anti-LGBT pieces of legislation:

  1. The “Anti-Trans Student-Athlete Ban” has been signed into law.  
  2. The “Opt-Out of LGBT Teaching” is on the Governors desk and he signaled Thursday that he would sign it as he believes it is a “parental choice” issue. 
  3. The “Bathroom Bill 2.0” is on the Governor’s desk. This is the FIRST bathroom bill that has passed ANYWHERE since North Carolina notoriously did in 2016 and faced $3.75 billion dollars in losses. 
  4. The “Business Bathroom Signage” bill has also moved to the Governors desk. 
  5. The House will vote on the “Tran Youth Hormone Ban” bill on Monday 5/3/21, and it will move to the Governor’s desk after that. 

Transgender youth were clearly the targets this year with all 5 targeting them, the “signage” bill and targets all trans people and the “opt-out” includes the LGB community. 

While the Governor should veto all the bills, he has signaled support for three of them. He has not spoken about the “Bathroom Bill”, and there is a coordinated and focused issue by business leaders and companies to push for a veto of this one. A bathroom bill can not be spun as something else like he has other legislation. All are clearly discriminatory but there is no spinning that one. 

Contact Governor Lee and tell him to VETO all the anti-LGBT bills in front of him, emphasize the “Bathroom Bill” if you wish. 

What happened this week: 

What happened with legislation. 

  • Monday 4/26, the House concurred with the Senate version and passed the “Bathroom Bill 2.0”. 
  • Thursday 4/29, the Senate passed the “Business Bathroom Signage” bill. 

Media coverage and info you should know:

The week ahead: 

Monday, May 3rd: The “ Tran-Youth Hormone Ban” bill will be up on the floor of the House. Passage here will send the bill to the Governor. We will make sure all legislators have the updated open letter and know the business impact again. 

Ongoing: The Governor will have the option to sign the passed bills into law, please keep the pressure up to push him to VETO the legislation. We will monitor that and work with businesses to reach out directly and talk about the economic and business harm of the legislation. 

The legislature is expected to adjourn on Wednesday or Thursday. 

Legislative Overview – Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce bill tracklist: 

112th General Assembly – First Session 


SB 1229/HB 529 (Rose/Moody): “Opt-Out of being taught LGBT sex-ed”

A bill to require an LEA or public charter school to notify the parent or guardian of each student prior to beginning instruction of a sexual orientation curriculum or gender identity curriculum, regardless of whether the curriculum is offered as part of a family life program, sex education program, or other program. Allows a parent or guardian to excuse the student from a sexual orientation or gender identity curriculum. 

Status: Senate passed 04/05/21; House passed 04/14/21. Pending Governor’s signature.

SB 228/HB 3 (Hensley/Cepicky): “Anti-trans student-athlete bill”

A bill to require that a student's gender for purposes of participation in a public middle school or high school interscholastic athletic activity or event be determined by the student's sex at the time of the student's birth, as indicated on the student's original birth certificate. 

Status: Senate Passed 03/01/21; House Passed 03/22/21; Signed by the Governor. 

SB 1367/HB 1233 (Bell/Zachary): “Bathroom Bill 2.0”

A bill to require public schools to provide a reasonable accommodation to a person who is unwilling or unable to use a multi-occupancy restroom or changing facility designated for the person’s sex located within a public school building or multi-occupancy sleeping quarters while attending a public school-sponsored activity. “Reasonable accommodation” is defined as including but not limited to access to a single-occupancy restroom or changing facility. “Sex” is a person's biological sex determined at the time of birth. Establishes that a person who is denied reasonable accommodation has a private right of action against the public school. 

Status: Passed Senate Floor 04/21/21, Passed House Floor 04/26/21. Pending Governor’s signature.

SB 1224/HB 1182 (Rose/Rudd): “Bathroom Signage for Business” 

As amended, a bill to require entities that operate a building or facility open to the general public that allow a member of either biological sex to use any public restroom post notice of the policy at the entrances to the restrooms. Establishes regulations for the required signage. 

Status: House passed 03/29/21, Senate passed 4/29/21. Pending Governor’s signature.


SB 126/HB 1027 (Haile/Kumar): “Trans-Youth Hormone Ban”

As amended, a bill to prohibit sexual identity change hormone therapy for prepubescent minors, and establish a commission to consider uniform standard for endocrine treatment for minors who are not prepubescent. 

Status: Senate passed 04/08/21; House Health Committee passed 04/14/21, sent to House Government Operations Committee. 


SB 657/HB 578 (Bowling/Ragan): Transgender-youth Healthcare Ban”

A bill to prohibit facilitating sexual identity change therapy to a minor who has not entered puberty, and to prohibit sexual identity change therapy to minors who have entered puberty unless a parent or guardian has written recommendations for the therapy from at least three physicians. Violations are treated as child abuse. 

Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee; House Health Committee deferred to Second Calendar of 2022. 

SB 193/HB 372 (Bowling/Casada): Diversity Training Opt-Out”

A bill to prohibit government entities from requiring employees to participate in a training, seminar, or continuing education if they object based on their morals, ethics, values, or religious beliefs. 

Status: Referred to Senate State and Local Government Committee (CLOSED); Taken off notice in House Public Service Subcommittee 03/17/21. 

SB 1216/HB 800 (Niceley/Griffey): “LGBT in Textbook Ban”

A bill to prohibit the use of textbooks or instructional materials that promote LGBTQ issues or lifestyles. 

Status: Referred to Senate Education Committee (CLOSED); House Education Instruction Committee passed 04/07/21, sent to House Finance Subcommittee. NO ACTION 

SB 1238/HB 1177 (Pody/J Sexton): “Anti-Trans Lockerroom Bill”

A bill to create an expectation of privacy from members of the opposite sex for a person in a single-sex restroom or locker room. Sex is defined as that listed on a person’s birth certificate. Violations are misdemeanors. 

Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee; Referred to House Criminal Justice Subcommittee (CLOSED). 

SB 562/HB 233 (Bowling/Leatherwood): Same-sex marriage ban”

A bill to require the Attorney General to defend local officials and political subdivisions who refuse to issue marriage licenses that violate the state constitution. 

Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee; Referred to House Children & Family Affairs Subcommittee (CLOSED). 


SB 659/HB 1535 (Bowling/Weaver): 

A bill to prohibit teachers from using supplemental materials that are not approved by the state board of education. Defines "supplemental materials" to mean a lesson plan, reading material, student worksheet, or instructional guide that a teacher uses to instruct a student on the academic standards of this state, and the lesson plan, student worksheet, or instructional guide is not created by the teacher. Establishes a review and approval process for supplemental materials sent to the state board by teachers, including notice of the review to the public and allowing the public to comment on the materials. 

Status: Senate Education Committee deferred to 2022; House Education Instruction Committee passed 04/07/21, sent to House Calendar & Rules Committee. 


SB 856/HB 576 (Bowling/Ragan): 

A bill to require the Department of Education to promulgate rules regulating how the office for civil rights ensures compliance with Title VI and Title IX, and assists programs receiving funds under Title VI and Title IX. 

Status: Assigned to General Subcommittee in Senate 03/19/21; Failed in House Higher Education Subcommittee 03/09/21.

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