Federal judge blocks Tennessee’s controversial bathroom sign law
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - A federal judge blocked Tennessee’s controversial new legislation requiring businesses to post signs about transgender access to bathrooms.
House Bill 1182 went into effect July 1 and “requires a public or private entity or business that operates a building or facility open to the general public to post a notice at the entrance of each public restroom of the entity’s or business’ policy of allowing a member of either biological sex to use any public restroom within the building or facility.”
Judge Aleta Trauger blocked the bill Friday after lawsuits by business owners Kye Sayers and Bob Bernstein and the American Civil Liberties Union.
WSMV reports the suit from Sayers and Bernstein objected to “the stigmatizing message they would be required to display, states that the law violates the First Amendment and asks the court for a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of the law while the lawsuit proceeds.”
Trauger’s decision reads: “Restaurants and performing spaces are businesses, but that is not all they are; they are also among the most important physical locations in which communities — so often consigned, in this era, to electronic space — can gather and grow together in a manner rooted in a particular neighborhood, in a particular city, in a particular state. The plaintiffs have presented evidence that they have strived to be welcoming spaces for communities that include transgender individuals and that the signage required by the Act would disrupt the welcoming environments that they wish to provide. That harm would be real, and it is not a harm that could simply be remedied by some award at the end of litigation.”
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