Bathroom Bill Cruises Through Criminal Justice Subcommittee - Articles

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Posted by: Jarod Word on Mar 14, 2019

The bill that LGBT advocates say targets transgender people in Tennessee cruised through the House, with the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee spending just 16 minutes of discussion on the legislation, the Tennessean reports. The legislation — HB 1151, sponsored by Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge — would enhance the punishment for a person who commits indecent exposure in bathrooms, a move proponents maintain is to clarify ambiguities regarding the state's indecent exposure laws. However, detractors say it is a thinly veiled case of bigotry. The bill as initially submitted made direct reference to transgender persons, specifying: "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,” but the amended version removed this language. Members of the public gathered to protest the law expressed frustration regarding the quick action of the subcommittee and said they feel that they were not given adequate time to speak out against the measure.