Back in 2012, then-Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, made a national media splash by proposing that transgender persons be required to visit restrooms based on the gender established by their birth certificates or face a criminal misdemeanor charge. The bill never came to a vote after his Senate sponsor, Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, decided that wasn’t a good idea.(Note: Prior post HERE.)
Now, Rep. Bud Hulsey, R-Kingsport, is apparently ready to try again with a similar proposal.
Floyd’s somewhat famous quote of 2012 (in previous post HERE): “I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.”
Hulsey does not use such colorful language in comments to WCYB TV:
This comes as the debate on which bathroom a transgender student should use has been making national headlines. Last week, a federal judge ruled that a Chicago school district violated anti-discrimination laws by denying a transgender female student access to the girl’s locker room.
…”When you were born, you got a birth certificate, and that shows what bathroom you use,” Hulsey said. “It’s pretty simple.”
He’s working on a bill (not filed) that he said would protect schools and only require them to have a male and female bathroom available. Hulsey said this isn’t about discrimination, it’s about protecting students’ safety and privacy.
“Principles are not based on feelings,” Hulsey said. They’re based on what’s best for the school, and what’s best for the rest of the students that go to that school.”
Not surprisingly, supporters of LGBT rights do not think highly of Hulsey’s proposal, reports WTVF TV:
Chris Sanders with the Tennessee Equality Project says the bill will cause more problems than it fixes, including giving staff and students license to bully and harass transgender students.
“I think it’s fear mongering at its worst,” Sanders said, “trans students aren’t going to attack anyone in a bathroom. They are more likely to be attacked in a bathroom,” he said.
Reporter Rebecca Schleicher asked Rep. Hulsey what happens to a boy who goes through a sex change under his proposal..And a few minutes later he said:
“That one point you brought up, if there are junior high and high school children who have gone through a program of a sex change for example, I very well may to revisit that on this deal,” said Hulsey.
Hulsey says he’s just trying to save Tennessee schools from a major headache.