Recently posted in Huffington Post, the Tennessee General Assembly is filing a new “bathroom bill”, which would only consider your sex as it appears on your birth certificate to decide which bathroom you’re going to use – male or female – completely disallowing for intersex, gender non-conforming or transgender people. Using what they consider to be the “wrong bathroom” is punishable with a fine of $50.00.
The text of the bill, which can be viewed here, contains the following:
HOUSE BILL 2279
AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 68,
Chapter 15, Part 3, relative to public restrooms
and dressing rooms.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1 Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 68 , Chapter 15, Part 3, is amended by
adding the following language as a new section:
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Sex” means and refers only to the designation of an
individual person as male or female as indicated on the individual’s birth
It continues with:
2) “Public building” means a building owned or leased by the
state, any agency or instrumentality of the state or any political
subdivision of the state;
(3) “Restroom” means a room maintained within or on the
premises of any public building and made available to the public,
containing toilet facilities for use by employees or the public;
(5) “Dressing room” means a room maintained within or on the
premises of any public building, used primarily for changing clothes.
(b) Except as provided in § 68-15-303, where a restroom or dressing
room in a public building is designated for use by members of one particular sex,
only members of that particular sex shall be permitted to use that restroom or
There are exceptions to the bill, such as:
8-15-303. Restroom Access Act.
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Restroom Access Act.
(b) As used in this section:
(1) Customer means an individual who is lawfully on the premises of a retail establishment;
(2) Eligible medical condition means Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, any other inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or any other medical condition that requires immediate access to a toilet facility; and
(3) Retail establishment means a place of business open to the general public for the sale of goods or services.
(c) A retail establishment that has a toilet facility for its employees shall allow a customer to use that facility during normal business hours if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The customer requesting the use of the employee toilet facility suffers from an eligible medical condition or utilizes an ostomy device;
(2) Three (3) or more employees of the retail establishment are working at the time the customer requests use of the employee toilet facility;
(3) The retail establishment does not normally make a restroom available to the public;
(4) The employee toilet facility is not located in an area where providing access would create an obvious health or safety risk to the customer or an obvious security risk to the retail establishment; and
(5) A public restroom is not immediately accessible to the customer.
(d) A retail establishment or an employee of a retail establishment is not civilly liable for any act or omission in allowing a customer to use an employee toilet facility that is not a public restroom if the act or omission meets all of the following:
(1) It is not willful or grossly negligent;
(2) It occurs in an area of the retail establishment that is not accessible to the public; and
(3) It results in an injury to or death of the customer or any individual other than an employee accompanying the customer.
(e) A retail establishment is not required to make any physical changes to an employee toilet facility under this section.
(f) A retail establishment or an employee of a retail establishment that violates subsection (c) commits a Class C misdemeanor and is only subject to a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00).
(g) When requesting access to an employee toilet facility, a customer shall present to an employee of the retail establishment proof of an eligible medical condition. The proof shall take the form of a document issued by a licensed physician or the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America identifying the presenter of the document and citing the appropriate statutory authority.
So with appropriately considered medical conditions, the law would not apply. Being transgender is not one of those conditions it seems. Again, violating the law is punishable with a fine of $50.
Everyone should tell the TN General Assembly what they think about this bill. Here is how to contact them:
The full Huffington Post article can be viewed here.