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LGBTI advocates slam Tennessee’s anti-trans indecent exposure bill

LGBTI advocates slam Tennessee’s anti-trans indecent exposure bill

Tennessee State Capital building in Nashville

LGBTI equality campaigners in the US have slammed a Tennessee indecent exposure bill.

They say it unfairly targets trans and non-binary residents.

House Bill 1151 would expand the offense of indecent exposure to include bathrooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms if the offender is ‘of the opposite sex than the sex designated for use’.

Activists have slammed a segment that states: ‘A medical, psychiatric, or psychological diagnosis of gender dysphoria, gender confusion, or similar conditions in the absence of untreated mental conditions such as schizophrenia, does not serve as a defense to the offense of indecent exposure’.

Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, told NewsChannel5 said the bill used ‘damaging language’.

‘It’s really about criminalizing transgender people in certain kinds of public places’ Sanders also said.

Tennessee Law does not allow trans individuals to change their gender on their birth certificate. Under the bill, therefore, trans people could easily be charged.

Sponsor of the bill, Rep John Ragan, said the bill doesn’t target trans individuals, according to NewsChannel5. ‘What it does is prevent them from using that as an excuse’ he reportedly said.

Slate of hate

The bill is one of six anti-LGBTI bills filed in Tennessee. The TEP has dubbed it a ’slate of hate’.

Lawmakers last week reintroduced the Natural Marriage Defense Act.

It states that the US Supreme Court decision in 2015 to allow same-sex marriage is void in the state of Tennessee.

The bill failed to advance when introduced in 2017 as well as in 2016. This bill was previously estimated to cost the state about $9 billion [€7,932,330,000] in federal funding.

Two bills also give private adoption agencies the right to discriminate against LGBTI parents.

Bathroom bill

So-called bathroom bills have been a problem for the United States’ transgender community for several years now.

The first major one was North Carolina’s, which finally came to a head in 2017. Texas came next. However, its bill did not move forward after the House took no action on it.

Advocates heralded the House’s killing of the bill as a major victory for LGBTI rights in the largely conservative state.