Tag Archives: Bo

Watson Scuttles Transgender Bathroom Bill

Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, on Thursday withdrew the Senate version of a controversial House measure requiring transgender people to use public bathrooms and dressing rooms that match their birth gender, reports Andy Sher.
Watson, who is chairman of the Hamilton County legislative delegation, said he sponsored the bill as a standard courtesy to local House members. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga.
“I understand Rep. Floyd’s passion about the issue, but we have more pressing issues before us that we need to focus our attention on and we don’t need to get sidetracked,” Watson said.
Floyd said earlier Thursday he introduced the bill after reading a news story about a Texas woman who said she was fired from Macy’s after stopping a male teen dressed as a woman from using a dressing room.
“It could happen here,” Floyd said. “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.
“Don’t ask me to adjust to their perverted way of thinking and put my family at risk,” he said. “We cannot continue to let these people dominate how society acts and reacts. Now if somebody thinks he’s a woman and he’s a man and wants to try on women’s clothes, let him take them into the men’s bathroom or dressing room.”
The bill would charge violators with a misdemeanor carrying a $50 fine.

Note: Previous post HERE.

Bill Mandates Transgender Use of Birth Gender Bathroom

A Chattanooga lawmaker says he makes no apologies for his bill that prohibits transgender people from using use public bathrooms and dressing rooms that don’t match the gender listed on their birth certificates, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, said today he introduced the bill after reading a news article about a Texas woman who said she was fired from Macy’s after blocking a male teen dressed as a woman from using a dressing room.
“It could happen here,” Floyd said. “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.”
Floyd’s bill, sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, in the Senate, makes such acts a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a $50 fine.
The legislation is already triggering condemnation in the gay and liberal blogosphere.
Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project, dubbed it the “Police the Potty” bill, noting state law already prohibits anyone born in the state from amending their gender of birth certificates.

Note: A news release on the matter from the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition is below.

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Senator Eyes Mandate that All Public Notices Be Published Online (not in newspapers)

State Sen. Bo Watson is considering a change to his bill calling for all public notices in Hamilton County to be published online rather than in newspapers, reports Action Andy Sher. The change would make the arrangement apply statewide.
It would ultimately put notices online provided, Watson said, he can address issues of having them independently published, verifiable, archivable and accessible to the estimated one third of Tennessee households without computers.
“Until I am comfortable in addressing those, whatever legislation might emerge has to address all of those,” Watson said. “I just don’t think it [the city proposal] gets there. But it was a great starting point to learn more about what the concerns were with that legislation.”
Watson said he continues to believe that given increasing use of the Internet and technological changes, the Internet can provide a better and less expensive alternative for notices.
Notices provide the public information about city and county governing bodies’ public meetings as well as zoning matters, public purchases and other areas.
On Tuesday, the Senate State and Local Government Committee held a sometimes-contentious hearing on Watson’s bill and similar legislation by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, affecting Knox County.
Watson and Campfield sparred with the Tennessee Press Association, which represents 126 paid-circulation newspapers including the Chattanooga Times Free Press, as well as the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, an advocacy group. The groups oppose the bills, which were shuttled off for study after the legislative session.
Campfield questioned continued publication of legal notices in newspapers, arguing the current law requiring newspaper public of public notices amount to a “subsidy” for an industry losing subscribers because of technological change.
Noting efforts by governments to cut costs, Campfield said, “I can’t necessarily say that we’ll be able to find a solution that will keep subsidizing the newspapers if their product is not working anymore.”
TPA President Jeff Fishman, publisher of The Tullahoma News and vice president of Lakeway Publishers Inc., said all states have laws regulating public notice. They are “designed to ensure that people within a community receive important information about the actions of their government,” he said, noting local newspapers are the “preferred venue.”
Notice must be published by an independent party, Fishman said, adding the publication must be achievable, be accessible and verifiable for court purposes.
“If any of these elements is absent, the public loses and the notice itself may be challenged,” he said.
Tennessee Coalition for Open Government Executive Director Frank Gibson said providing proper public notice “is the most vital action of government transparency.”
He cited figures from Connected Tennessee, a government-funded organization that deals with technology issues. They show that while 75 percent of the state’s 2.5 million households have a computer, the remaining 25 percent amount to 630,000, Gibson said.
Only 27 percent surveyed said they interacted with a local government website, Gibson said, while the survey showed 62 percent relied on newspaper websites
.