Today is Monday, May 1, 2017

Lynn: State played hand well on restroom privacy

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Following a federal judge's recent siding with Texas and 12 other states, including Tennessee, that argued the Obama administration's restroom directive policy usurps local control and threatens students' safety and privacy, State Rep. Susan Lynn said she was "delighted."

Lynn, who sponsored Tennessee's Restroom Privacy Act, issued the following statement:

"Tennessee was a party to this lawsuit, and I am delighted that Tennessee was successful with our case. I am also extremely pleased that this ruling proves that the strategy to delay passage of the restroom bill that we chose to take in April has clearly proven to be the right course of action for Tennessee.

"First, this ruling means that Tennessee schools can feel comfortable about ignoring the Obama administration's restroom directive - which, as the governor and Republicans said from the outset, does not have the force of law because it was not created according to law or administrative procedure.

"Second, the Justice stated that his ruling does not apply to disputes that are already in court, which would include the cases in North Carolina and Virginia. However, this also means that the ruling perfectly applies to Tennessee because we have not been sued in court. This could have turned out very differently for Tennessee because we know that we would have been sued in court by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) had we passed the bill in April.

"Third, as stated in the decision the ruling also does not apply to schools that already accommodate transgender students' choice of restrooms. Tennessee schools support biological identity for restroom use. Any student who claims to be transgender is offered a private, safe and secure alternative.

"I think Tennessee played our hand very well," she concluded. "Now it is up to the voters to make the right choice in November because we know that a second Clinton administration would aggressively pursue violating the privacy rights of biological boys and girls in our schools regardless of what the local school district decides is best for students."

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