Tennessee's anti-trans bill laid to rest, but not dead

Today, the sponsor of Tennessee's House Bill 2414, the so-called "bathroom bill" that targets children and teenage students who are transgender, announced she will be laying the bill to rest, but only temporarily.

The Tennessean reports:

The House sponsor of a bill that would require students in public school grades K-12 and higher education institutions to use the restroom that corresponds with their sex at birth is killing the controversial legislation.

Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, said she plans on delaying any action on the highly contentious measure in an effort to further study the issue.

"I have learned that our school districts are largely following what the bill says," she said while inside her office at the Capitol on Monday. "I am still absolutely 100 percent in support of maintaining the privacy of all students. But I'm going to roll the bill over until next year so we can work on those issues."

Rep. Lynn plans to reintroduce the bill next year, according to local ABC affiliate WATE 6.

"While we're pleased to see that this harmful bill has been pulled for the time being, simply postponing it is not enough," said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. "This sort of discrimination cannot be tolerated and we must continue to fight against these bills that target the LGBT community."

The Representative made her announcement after more than 67,000 signatures were delivered from trans youth and their families to state lawmakers urging to stop the bill.

Last week, GLAAD was on the ground in Tennessee, amplifying the voices of LGBT Tennesseans and how they would be harmed by the proposed legislation, and working closely with allies to share their advocacy, as well.

Grassroots advocates, local and national organizations, and prominent public figures have all been speaking out against Tennessee's two starkly discriminatory proposed bills, HB 2414 and HB 1840. HB 1840 would allow medical professionals to refuse mental health services to LGBT patients, and Tennessee’s HB 2414 would target transgender youth, aged K-12, as well as transgender higher education students – denying them the safety and freedom to use the bathroom that matches their identity.

While the work to not only silence this bill once and for all, but to shift the cultural narrative towards full acceptance, is undoubtedly ongoing, the importance of this moment is not to be understated. LGBT advocacy organization Freedom for All Americans said in a statement:

This is a huge, important win for LGBT advocates in Tennessee – and it comes after months of organizing from state and national partners, including the Tennessee Equality Project, Freedom for All Americans, the ACLU of Tennessee, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign. Freedom for All Americans is proud to have worked hand-in-hand with the Tennessee Equality Project this year.

Following today's victory, GLAAD will continue working to stop the onslaught of anti-LGBT legislation on the table and accelerate full LGBT acceptance, both in the U.S. South and nationwide.