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Nashville business owner, plaintiff talks about transgender 'bathroom bill' lawsuit

Court Rules That Transgender Students Can Use The School Bathroom That Matches Their Gender Identity
Posted at 7:46 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 13:52:28-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The plaintiff of the transgender signage bathroom bill and owner of Nashville's Fido coffee shop and restaurant said he thinks there could be similar laws passed next year.

Bob Bernstein filed suit against the state for the law requiring businesses to publicly post their policy on trans bathroom usage.

Under the law, businesses would've had to post a sign so the public could know they allow transgender people to use their restroom of choice at the business.

State lawmakers who supported the bill argued sexual predators could take advantage of inclusive restroom policies.

Bernstein said when he first heard of the law he wanted to post a sign of his own in opposition to it.

"We thought about putting our own sign up on the bathroom and protesting it in some form," said Bernstein. "But then, the ACLU called me pretty quickly and said, 'Hey, do you want to be the plaintiff on this?' I said, 'Sure, yeah.'"

The lawsuit halted enforcement of the law just a few days after it took affect in July of 2021. Then, this week, a U.S. District Court judge blocked the law.

Still, Bernstein has seen the other attempts the state has made to regulate transgender people.

"I think the world, people are scared of something out there. They're trying to hold on to something that didn't exist in the first place. It's sad to see that people are still holding on and don't see that times have changed, people are different. People are free to talk about who they really are. That needs to be celebrated and not attacked," he said.

The judge highlighted multiple issues with the law but also how it would be enforced was vague.