NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Conservative lawmakers nationwide have introduced a flurry of anti-LGBTQ bills this year. But no state’s political leaders have gone further than Tennessee in enacting new laws targeting transgender people.
Legislators passed and Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed five new bills into law. The lawmakers consistently dismiss concerns that the measures discriminate against an already vulnerable population, that some of the laws are unworkable and that they could damage the state’s reputation.
Supporters defend the laws policy by policy. They say one reaffirms parental rights, others protect girls and women and one even improves equality. Opponents reject those claims.
The Human Rights Campaign has called 2021 the worst year in recent history for anti-LGBTQ legislation.