When Tennessee lawmakers return to Nashville in about a month, so, too, will a slate of bills against the LGBTQ+ community called the "Slate of Hate," according to the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP).
Here's the latest on the bills from TEP —
The bills that will be back:
Among the bills returning is the anti-transgender student bathroom bill
. It passed the Tennessee House this year and heads to the Senate State & Local Government Committee. This bill outrageously gives state legal support to public school districts that experiment with anti-transgender student policies.
Another is the adoption discrimination bill
that would make private adoption/foster care agencies eligible for your tax dollars even if those agencies decide to turn away loving parents because of a parent's sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious views. This bill has passed the House and will be on the floor of the Senate in the new year.
The old business license to discriminate bill
will also return. It would prevent local governments from favoring businesses with inclusive policies in their contracting. That bill passed the House this year and will be up for consideration in the Senate State & Local Government Committee.
A new bill:
A right-wing organization in Tennessee recently announced its intention to have another go at attacking marriage equality
. It's called the "God-Given Marriage Initiative." It would attempt to end marriage licensing and replace it with a man and a woman registering their marriage contract with the state. Where does that leave the LGBTQ community? We need to be ready to fight back so that we don't have to find out.
A bill attacking transgender youth healthcare
has been introduced in South Carolina. Legislators in Texas, Georgia, and Kentucky are said to be looking at similar bills. We should not be surprised to see such legislation in Tennessee.
Another possible bill is an attack on the inclusion of transgender people in Tennessee's hate crimes law
. In February of this year, the Attorney General issued an opinion saying that the word "gender" in the law means transgender people are covered and that means that Tennessee has the first inclusive hate crimes law in the South. But right-wing groups complained bitterly at the time and we should expect some effort to amend the law, leaving transgender people vulnerable again.