Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who opposed a transgender bathroom bill in the Tennessee Legislature, is speaking out against a directive by President Barack Obama's administration that public schools must allow students to use facilities consistent with their gender identity.
Haslam said in a statement Monday that he disagrees with what he called a "heavy-handed approach." The governor said such sensitive issues should be handled by local school boards -- and not by the state or the federal government.
The Tennessee bill seeking to require students to use restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificates was withdrawn before the end of the legislative session last month to allow legal challenges to play out in other states that have passed similar measures.